Holidays and Japan

The holiday season has come and gone, both in America and in Japan. Talking about the differences between western and Japanese holidays is always interesting, since Japan does recognize a lot of western holidays, but usually they’ve changed them so much that they might as well be a completely different holiday. Christmas, for example, has gotten a bit of an overhaul there. They’ve got the whole Santa/presents/Christmas lights/insane sales thing down(AKA, all the superficiality of Christmas). A very small percent of people in Japan are Christian, so almost all the Christian imagery has been nixed. On a personal note, I’m not very religious at all, but I always loved Christmas for that special “family-togetherness” feeling. However, in Japan, Christmas is regarded as more of a commercial holiday, kind of like Valentine’s Day. Whereas I usually spend Christmas with my family in front of the fireplace, full from Christmas dinner and watching my nephews play with their new toys while chestnuts roast on an open fire while Jack Frost nips at my nose, or whatever, my Japanese friends tell me they spend their Christmases drunk, or with their girlfriends/boyfriends, or drunk with their drunken girlfriends/boyfriends.
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