Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas in Japan

Erica here.

There are a few things that are different about Christmas in Japan. Christmas presents are not usually exchanged except among couples, close friends and given to small children. It is not common to give out Christmas cards and there is no Boxing day or Boxing day sales! Instead, New Years is very important. New Year postcards (nengajo) with well wishes are mailed out to family and friends and there are big sales everywhere after New Years!!

Although Christmas is not really celebrated as much in Japan, all the English schools I work at were very festive and had Christmas parties. At the Shiramizu Christmas party, Arakawa Sensei dressed up as Santa and handed out presents to the students. Aside from presents and snacks, we got to watch Hansel and Gretel and a Christmas song (in Japanese) through a black theatre. Yamazaki Sensei and two of her helpers told this story on a board that was covered in a black cloth and a black light over it. Then they would put pictures up on the board and because of the light, the pictures would glow. There was a narrator and even music. All the kids enjoyed it very much!

The Black Theatre board with the lights on.

Lights off!!

Santa!!! Now where did Arakawa Sensei go??

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