Christmas Eve

Happy Holidays! It's almost Christmas for those of you that celebrate.

Christmas Eve is a much bigger deal here in Japan than Christmas Day. Couples and families exchange gifts, eat cake (usually strawberry shortcake) and fried chicken. I'm really not sure how some of these celebrations came about but probably not from religion since only about two percent of the population is Christian. This year Christmas falls on a weekend but otherwise no one would have the day off.

Culturally, New Year's is when families get together, people go back to their hometowns and large meals are prepared. So in a sense Christmas has become an event based on outside influences and New Year's is celebrated more like how Christmas would be spent in Western countries. I don't have any pictures to share but each year Kobe puts up lighting for a week and half or so for everyone to look at. It started the year of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. I managed to see it before it was lit which is kind of funny. Some areas of the city up with Christmas lights. Everyone has been out shopping and with the drop in temperature yesterday it feels much more like winter.

Anyhow, just wanted to drop in and wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope to write again before the new year but I can't promise anything. Be safe and have fun. Best wishes into the new year:)