Holiday Celebrations: ein internationaler Einblick
Before Christmas, we had the pleasure of enjoying a video conference with a very nice Japanese lady in in our English class. She took the time to share her expert knowledge of holiday traditions in her country with us. In Japan, holidays are celebrated quite differently from here and we learned a lot about fascinating local customs.
The best-known holiday around the world is probably Christmas. In Japan, Christmas is celebrated differently. For example, a lot of people live in small apartments, which is why they usually don’t have Christmas trees there. Instead, there are other unique traditions, like the huge Christmas feasts the Japanese prepare. They are much more opulent than the ones we celebrate here. Another beloved Japanese custom are beautiful Christmas markets. There is a multitude of them all over the country. They are decorated with enchanting lights and other breathtaking decorations. Traditional music is also a very important part of Christmas in Japan.
One of the most important holidays of Japanese culture is the Japanese New Year (Shogatsu). The festivities bring families together to enjoy traditional dishes and can last up to seven days. Due to the national importance of this holiday, workplaces are usually closed from the 29th of December to the 3rd of January. Religious people welcome the new year by praying for prosperity, safety and health at a shrine.
There is also a holiday designated especially to the blossom of the cherry tree in springtime. Its name is Hanami, and it dates to the year 710. Today, it is celebrated by holding big feasts in parks or wherever else the flowering trees, shrouded in abundant clouds of light pink petals and delicious scent, can be found. Sometimes these feasts go on until late at night.