日本での一年間

January 27, 2011

Xmas is for Lovers…and Chicken

Filed under: Events, Food — Tags: , , — myyearinjapan @ 11:53 pm

In Japan, Christmas is not family time. In fact, it’s not even a public holiday. Almost everyone works on Christmas, just like any other day. New Years, on the other hand, is an important holiday that almost everyone one spends with their families. Christmas is like another Valentines Day and is a time that people spend with their boyfriends and girlfriends. And for some reason, everyone eats chicken on Christmas. Restaurants start taking orders for chicken at least a month in advance. Even KFC takes orders ahead of time because they have so many people coming to get chicken. Even at convenience stores, they have competitive sales on the fried chicken they sell at the front of the store around Christmas time. Another popular Christmas food in Christmas cake, which no one would believe is not eaten in the states, no matter how many times I said it. (Anther random I kept hearing is that Santa is Finnish and that’s why he speaks English.) Christmas cake is typically a yellow cake with white frosting and strawberries. Strawberries on the top, strawberries in the middle. Many strawberries. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t like strawberries and therefore, I am not a fan of Christmas cake either.

KFC

The colonel welcomes people into a KFC in his Santa costume.

After Christmas, Japan goes into New Year preparation mode. By Dec. 28th, most companies are closed, giving employees time to make it home in time to be with their families for New Years, called oshogatu お正月 in Japanese. There are many New Years traditions in Japan. There are certain games children play on New Years, such as Fuku Warai 福笑い, which is similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey, except that you pin eyes, noses and mouths on faces. There are certain foods you eat at New Years, such as Ozouni お雑煮, which is a soup with mochi (pounded riceballs) in it. And there are certain decorations that you put outside of your house, such as a kadomatsu 門松, made out of things like pine and bamboo. At midnight or anytime during the first week of the new year, people visit shrines to pray for luck in the coming year and get an omikuji, a paper that tells your fortune.

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2 Comments »

  1. Santa, or Joulupukki, is Finnish! While Americans think Santa lives at the North Pole, Europeans think he lives in Finland (in the Santa theme park there, probably).

    Fried Chicken Xmas? Why don’t we have that in the South? (Although more and more people get a deep-fried turkey, I’ve heard. Mmmm.)

    Comment by reccaphoenix — January 30, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

    • I don’t take offense that they believe Santa is Finnish. I take offense at their assumption that Finnish=English speaker.
      And fried chicken xmas does seem like it would be popular in the American south. You should start that trend!

      Comment by myyearinjapan — January 31, 2011 @ 11:36 pm


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