Japan isn't a primarily Christian country, so it might surprise many that they still celebrate Christmas - but not in the way we do. In Japan Christmas isn't really seen as a religious occasion, and they even celebrate Christmas eve more than the 25th. The Japanese do also adopt American culture around Christmas and often send Christmas cards and presents.
In Japan, Christmas Eve is seen as a romantic holiday much like Valentines Day is here, often couples will exchange gifts and spend time together, often visiting Japan's eccentric and extravagant Christmas light displays and enjoying a meal.
Christmas Lights in Japan
But Christmas in Japan isn't so great if you're a kid, as it's not considered a national holiday - school is still open. However, they can't complain too much as Japan is a country with one of the most national holidays in the world.
Want to say Merry Christmas in Japanese? Memorise this: Meri Kurisumasu
Japan still has traditions like Christmas cake, but it's not the fruit cake we're used to here. Often it is simply a sponge cake decorated elaborately.
Cream and strawberries are a big feature!
And the strangest thing about Christmas in Japan? They don't have a turkey, but seem to have adopted the 'closest' alternative - a meal from KFC. I'm not joking! In Japan orders are placed for Christmas KFC months in advance...
Here's the proof!
If you want to shake things up this year and have a Japanese Christmas celebration, we don't recommend KFC... but we do recommend serving up Sushi as canapes with Champagne and Sake cocktails, plenty of Japanese sweets for the little ones and maybe serving up a beautiful whole marinated salmon at parties! Check our blog next week and we'll be sharing a recipe for Japanese Christmas Cake and a whole bunch of ideas for Christmas party food!