Japan has some strange customs when it comes to Christmas. Walk past any given KFC on Christmas Day and you will find an impenetrable line-up around the block for what the Japanese deem "Christmas dinner." Legend tells that a Japanese KFC employee overheard some westerners enjoying their fried chicken on Christmas Day and saying that KFC was the closest thing to a turkey dinner for foreigners living in Japan. KFC decided to milk this cash cow and starting an aggressive marketing campaign to Japanese citizens; KFC is a foreigner's first choice for Christmas dinner. Another example of Japan's complete inability to grasp sarcasm, but anyway...
You might also have noticed that Christmas cakes in Japan do not take the form of dense fruitcake that could easily substitute a doorstop, rather, Japanese Christmas cake is light and fluffy sponge cake with healthy servings of cream and strawberries.
|Image Source: http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.jp/2011/12/japanese-christmas-traditions.html|
Christmas time in Australia is a time for family to come together, enjoy each other's company, and celebrate the spirit of the season, while New Years is usually reserved for couples to reflect on the past and reign in the new year to come together. In Japan, the sentiments of these holidays is reversed; couples enjoy strolling through winter illuminations or enjoying a romantic meal on Christmas Day, making it seem much more like a Valentine's Day style celebration, while New Years is a day to enjoy a family meal and welcome the new year among family and friends.
Christmas in Japan can be mind-boggling and different but it certainly makes for an interesting holiday season (and the subject of a Tops Tuesdays post). Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!