Monday, December 22, 2014

Japanese Christmas (home for the holidays)

Jeff and I decided to come back to the U.S. for the holidays.  We are making a 3 state tour while we are in the country.  A stop in CA to see Jeff's family, a stop in ID to see dogs and friends and a stop in Phoenix to see my parents.  The long flight back to the U.S. was a little tougher than long flights normally feel due to pregnancy fun.  I have been a little more tired than normal after a big time change and I'm more achy, but after a day of rest up a massage I feel much better.

I appologize for formatting issues the next few posts as I'm having to post on my phone.

Japan has a very small Christian population (less than 1%) so it has surprised me to see so many shops put up Christmas decorations and play Christmas music.  Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan.  I asked my Japanese language teacher about Christmas in Japan and a few other people I work with who have Japanese spouces.  The consensus is that Christmas Eve is more of a celebration  than Christmas Day and that the holiday is a non-religious one.  

Christmas Eve is often celebrated by couples going on romantic dates and exchanging gifts in the same way that Americans celebrate Valentine's Day.  Some parents give their children a present and the day is mostly seen as a day to spread merriment.  Friends sometimes get together and share a meal together or give Christmas cake (sponge cake with whipped cream frosting).  I think Japanese people love holidays and excuses to celebrate and have happily added Christmas to their list of minor holidays and festivals.  

Here are some of my favorite decorations.

This is a Christmas tree with the top being the Carp mascot for the Hiroshima  carp baseball team.

Lights at Hiroshima.  There were dozens of different displays that seemed to be sponsored by different companies.  There were lots of people walking around and taking pictures.

Jeff and I got a tiny fake tree for our apartment and decorated it to make it festive.  

Here is my favorite Japanese Christmas card.

 Happy holidays all!  

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