Christmas in Japan is a newer kind of celebration for the culture. As most of the population is Buddhist, not Christian, the holiday is something that has come from overseas, but with a less religious feel. A Japanese Christmas is a time spent to spread joy and cheer, to give gifts, and enjoy the company of those closest to you. Christmas Eve tends to be a much more celebrated night in which couples go on romantic dates, young friends go to each other’s houses to exchange gifts, and children learn new songs and dances.

Their traditional Christmas food is something completely unique only to Japan. For dinner most families have fried chicken, specifically Kentucky Fried Chicken, making their orders a month in advance. As for dessert, families either make or order a light sponge cake with fluffy white icings topped with strawberries, decorations, and little Santas.

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In Japanese Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Meri Kurisumasu’. And it’s written in the two Japanese scripts like this; Hiragana: めりーくりすます; Katakana: メリークリスマス. Santa is known as サンタさん、サンタクロース Santa-san or Mr. Santa. Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, so schools and businesses are normally open on December 25th.


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