Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Around the World: Asia

Christmas is not widely celebrated in Asia.  It is more of a commercial holiday, and holds little or no religious value (sounds like some western countries, doesn't it?). 


Less than 1% of Japanese people are Christians.  They are predominately Buddhist, Shinto, or Atheist. Because of this, Christmas is not a nationally recognized holiday, and people go to work and school.  Even though most people aren't Christians, Christmas is celebrated in the spirit of commercialism. Corporations do most of the holiday decorating, though many Japanese people have Christmas trees and hold Christmas parties.

On Christmas Eve, it is very common to celebrate with a Christmas cake.  The cake is said to go bad if it is not consumed on Christmas Eve. It is a light sponge cake, with a small amount of frosting, and strawberries.


Christian children in China decorate trees with colorful ornaments in the shapes of flowers, chains, and lanterns. Muslin stockings are hung with for "Dun Che Lao Ren" or "Christmas Old Man" to place gifts and treats in.

Non-Christian children in China call this time the Spring Festival.  They celebrate with many festivities. They eat delicious meals, and pay respect to their ancestors.  Children are the main focus of these celebrations.  Children are given new clothes, new toys, good food, and watch firework displays.

No comments: