Celebrate the holiday season this year by trying out unique and festive Japanese Christmas traditions! From tasty Japanese recipes to gift-giving Japanese style, and festive activities that are popular in Tokyo. So, if you’ve got a glass of Japanese whisky at the ready, let’s get into it! Get inspired this year and spread joy and Christmas spirit while channeling your passion for all things Japanese!
Unique Japanese Traditions Around Food
When we think of Christmas food, turkey, Christmas pudding, and Christmas cake may come to mind, but festive food is quite different in Japan. Rather than serve mince pies at your Christmas party, why not serve strawberry shortcake. Fluffy and sweet, topped with whipped cream, kurisumasu keki is a nice alternative to serve and is considered a Christmas cake across Japan. Strawberry shortcake is also a Japanese traditionto celebrate birthdays and special occasions such as anniversaries. Serve a piece of strawberry shortcake to your loved ones this Christmas on a delicate small side plate with some fresh green tea.
Sticking with the festive food theme, you might be surprised to hear that KFC is extremely popular in Japan, especially over Christmas. In fact, eating KFC is a Japanese Christmas tradition that started during the 1970s due to a marketing campaign. It’s so popular that Japanese people reserve their meals over the holidays to guarantee they can indulge in crispy fried chicken on Christmas Day. So, why not make dining on KFC a new Christmas Eve tradition. Get into your cosy Christmas pyjamas and enjoy a movie night in with a bucket of KFC. Since Christmas Eve is considered a ‘couple’s holiday’, in Japan, it’s also the perfect way to spend quality time together, without spending a small fortune on a fancy restaurant. Just make sure to upgrade your dinnerware to make this fast-food indulgence more of a special occasion. It is Christmas, after all!
To toast to good health on Christmas Day, why not serve Japanese whisky! With a smooth and distinct flavour, Japanese whisky is gaining popularity worldwide and makes a wonderfully warm festive drink during the winter. You could even serve a Japanese inspired Old Fashioned by pouring whisky over ice in a whisky glass and topping with a twist of fresh orange and a black cherry.
Gifting Japanese Style
If you feel overwhelmed Christmas shopping, perhaps you should start celebrating as if you were in Japan. Gift-giving is not a major Japanese Christmas tradition, and usually, only couples exchange gifts during December. So, if you adopt this Japanese tradition, you can save money, reduce the amount of waste you generate and focus on celebrating and spending time together, rather than toys and gifts. Although Santa Clause is a Western tradition that Japan has adopted, rather than believing Father Christmas climbs down a chimney, he is considered a magical ghost who is able to visit each home, leaving gifts for children. But, let’s be honest, whether he comes down a chimney or magically appears at night, he’d probably appreciate a glass of sake and a slice of cake!
Japanese Traditions & Paper Crafts
There are only so many Christmas movies you can watch in the run-up to Christmas before you start searching for something more interesting to do! Well, you could make the Japanese tradition of origami part of your new Christmas tradition. This relaxing papercraft activity can help you to make handmade decorations for your home, as well as minimize stress over the festive period. You can also fold paper cranes to give lucky charm gifts to family and friends. Paper cranes are thought to be a strong symbol of success and good fortune. So pop a couple of handmade origami paper cranes in your children’s stockings this year! From origami gifts to paper crafted decorations, this Japanese tradition is fun and family-friendly. So, get little ones around the dining room table for a night of festive paper folding.
We certainly hope that you now feel inspired to incorporate some of these unique Japanese Christmas traditions into your celebration this year! And to help you achieve an authentic Japanese celebration, check out our collection of Japanese dinnerware, tea sets and more online.