Originally Posted by Reavyn
I looked but didn't see a thread on this, unless it's mixed in with something else.
If there is a thread about this, I don't mind being given the link!
I was reading one of the nightly notes on Kotaku the other night and the writer that lives in Japan (He is American, married to a Japanese woman) and he mentioned Santa Claus. I know Christmas is mainly just a commercial holiday more so than a religious holiday in Japan. Well, with the exception of the Christians that live in Japan. ...Well, it's mostly the same in America too. But I was wondering, what exactly are the Christmas traditions in Japan. How big is Santa? Are Christmas Trees normal to have? Are there maybe special Christmas foods? How is the gift giving done?
Santa is big enough amongst the kids in Japan to cause a stir when they got some of the exchange students to play him at the local elementary schools. First they went nuts with excitement, then there was a long pause of surprise and then one kid summed it up with a cry of "SANTA'S FOREIGN?! akhslakgh!"
I didn't see many Xmas trees except in a few large public places. I don't think it's especially abnormal to not have on in your house; after-all a lot of places are too small. A couple of houses down our road decorated random trees outside their houses with... random stuff.
They eat Xmas cake, albeit often in a form unrecognizable to me as xmas cake, but as MMM said, it's mostly a romantic holiday rather than a seasonal thing. The Xmas cards caused a lot of hilarity amongst the ryuugakusei when I was in Japan as several people picked up cards with innocent reindeer on the front and so forth, handed them out without taking the time to check what the japanese printed inside actually said. Whoops! A few of the guys were highly embarrassed to find they'd inadvertently handed out mushy love notes to their male friends rather than seasonal greetings.