LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MODERN TRADITIONS THAT JAPANESE HAVE AT CHRISTMAS
Christmas is a global celebration and, as such, it is celebrated in almost every corner of the world, although yes, in very different ways. In Latin America we know the western version, one in which December 24 is a family date, while December 31 may be more inclined towards the side of friends.
Although the above may vary, there is no doubt that having at least one dinner with the family is almost mandatory. Something a bit different from what happens in Japan, where the dishes related to this date could also surprise you.
CHRISTMAS CAKE? A ESPECIALLY CHRISTMAS DESSERT
Before remembering how these dates are reflected in the anime, let’s talk briefly about the so-called ‘Christmas cake’, which you will surely recognize by how it looks: a combination of cream and strawberries that is eaten at dinner on December 24, and charges special importance between couples.
In Japan, Christmas is more focused on spending it as a couple, and if you are not in a position to share with someone those walks under the Christmas lights or receive gifts from that special person, you can always count on your friends.
However, in that country Christmas is not a holiday, and usually work during the day to celebrate it only at night.
Something interesting, and at the same time to reflect, is that women over 25 years of age and single are also called ‘Christmas cake’, initially because this dessert lasts for a very short time before expiring, and from December 26 they are sold at very low prices just to get rid of them.
The analogy is that a woman after 25 must marry however she is and without having very high standards. As a data, even in 2020, jokes about single women in anime continue, although to a lesser extent.
KFC AS CHRISTMAS DINNER
As unusual as it may be to Westerners, another modern tradition that has gradually made space is eating fried chicken at Christmas, especially if it is a family reunion or dinner. And it is not just any chicken, the KFC brand has positioned itself as a key reference at this time in several Japanese homes.
This is because in the decade of the 70s many foreign businesses came to Japan, and the Nipponese viewed American brands with special interest. That said, Japan is not a Christian country, so they embraced Christmas, but they didn’t exactly have traditions.
To which KFC responded with a spectacular Christmas campaign that replaced turkey (uncommon in that country), with chicken, and the rest is history.
Fried chicken for Christmas in Japan.
Finally, not everything is different in Japan, since we will also see the streets adorned with lights, trees full of spheres and colors, as well as a very white Christmas in most of the island.
That said, let’s do a count of all the times that anime has shown us how Christmas is celebrated in Japan: メ リ ー ク リ ス マ ス！
JAPAN AND CHRISTMAS IN ANIMES
KIMI NI TODOKE
As we mentioned, Christmas is a perfect time for romantic stories, so it is not surprising that many episodes with this theme come from the so-called ‘shoujo‘.
In this Christmas episode, the protagonist Sawako Kuronuma does not know how to tell her parents that she wants to meet her friends for a Christmas exchange, right on the night of December 24.
Throughout dinner we see how they exchange gifts, and the appearance of the famous fried chicken; And although Sawako cannot see her friends, she does see Kazehaya, the boy with whom she is in love, and who had prepared a rather cute Christmas present.
A meeting of the Light Music Club and a story from Yui’s childhood star in this episode dedicated to Christmas, the interesting thing here is that during the celebratory meal it is possible to see the popular Christmas cake, as well as a small turkey … or will it be chicken?
In the same way, the teacher of the protagonists appears at the meeting, making it clear that she had no one to spend Christmas with.
RECOVERY OF AN MMO JUNKIE
The 30-year-old protagonist is not in one of the best moments of her life, after leaving her job and starting to dedicate herself entirely to an online game.
On Christmas Eve, she quickly goes out shopping for groceries only to find that everything is full of couples who will spend December 24 together.
And she will have a rather awkward encounter in the store. Poor Moriko, she just wanted the last piece of chicken.
We recommend: Dr. Stone, Jujutsu Kaisen and more exclusive series are coming to Crunchyroll this winter.
Umaru has a family dinner with her brother, a couple of friends, and typical Japanese food on that date:
Something very realistic is how Umaru’s older brother Taihei still has to stay late at work on December 24th.
This anime may have aliens and nonsense in each episode, but Christmas is respected, and as such in Gintama it even has an arc dedicated to Santa that has two episodes.
As well as several individual episodes in which reference is made to this date; You can even see Gintoki working side by side with Santa. Or two of them … more or less.
Christmas in Gintama has everything you could ask for: Santa Claus, fried chicken, lots of gifts, and a priceless friendship.
It should be noted that Japan does have a celebration that revolves around the family and is full of traditions, but it takes place during New Years days.
Would you like to spend a Christmas in Japan as the anime paint it? Let us know in the comments.