Monday, December 25, 2006

Japanese Christmas

I think one of the things that has surprised Hannah is how "Christmasey" things are here in Japan. Considering it is not a Christian country, there are more than enough Christmas carols playing on the radio, in the shops and in the restaurants. There are also more than enough Christmas decorations and Christmas lights to be found everywhere. It feels very much like a normal Christmas anywhere until you realise that the carols and decorations is usually where it ends - oh and the Christmas cake of course. Most people here think that Christmas is the 24th and most families buy a very sweet, very beautifully decorated cake to eat on this night (we had ours donated by Hannah this year - yum!). The cake shops are packed with boxes of cakes with the names of those who have ordered them and in general once the cakes are eaten Christmas is over for another year. Christmas is a time for lovers rather than family and most people are surprised at the way we celebrate it here in our house - a very traditional way with stockings, roast turkey etc.
One other tradition in this area is a big fireworks display in Beppu on the 23rd and 24th of December each year. The Japanese really do love their fireworks and although we were a long way away this year they were still worth going to have a look at. The display lasts for an hour and is just continual explosions of colour - incredible to think how they are made! Also incredible to think how much they cost....
This year we spread the Christmas spirit a little more and did some baking with a friend of mine and her 3 boys. Christmas cakes (well banana cake and chocolate cake sandwiched together and decorated with marshmallow flowers!) and Christmas cookies - you can never get enough of them!
Tomorrow we have a family of four coming to stay in Kiora Cottage. They want to cook dinner together and do some baking together too..... I guess I should think about what to make - or maybe I'll just head to bed and hope I become inspired in the morning!

No comments:

Post a Comment