INTERNeX Canada: Culture shock Christmas Edition Part 1!

It’s Christmas time! Time for presents, good company and good food! But even there a common things, Christmas is celebrated in a lot of different ways depending on where you are!

As you know INTERNeX office has people from pretty much everywhere! So just asking in the office you can find out amazing information about Christmas in different places!

Today is turn for Japan! Thanks M!

Christmas in Japan is not part of their traditional culture. December 25th is not even a national holiday in Japan! But in general Japanese people are great lovers of festivals and celebrations so Christmas was imported recent years ago. They didn’t forget to import “Santa” (usually call him “Santa-San”) and kids usually get Christmas gifts from “Santa”.

The New Year’s is a lot more important for Japanese. January 1-3 are holidays. The New Year ’s Eve, usually family (or friends) get together, have dinner and wait for the 108 bell chimes, during the ritual taking place at the Buddhist Temples. If you have no temples around your home, you can still catch it on TV! 🙂

According to Buddhist beliefs, 108 is the number of passions and desires entrapping us in the cycle of suffering and reincarnation. So, the 108 bell chimes symbolize the purification from the 108 delusions and sufferings accumulated in the past year.

January 1 is a very auspicious day, best started by viewing the New Year’s first sunrise (hatsu-hinode), and traditionally believed to be representative for the whole year that has just commenced. Therefore, the day is supposed be full of joy and free of stress and anger, while everything should be clean and no work should be done.

Various kinds of special dishes are served during New Years. They include osechi, otoso (sweetened rice wine) and zoni (a soup with rice cake)

Interesting, right?

How do you usually celebrate Christmas at home?



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