Question: Do non-Christian countries celebrate Christmas? Answer: Yes. Here in Japan, seasonal spirits are running high. Whether it’s the jingle bells played on continuous repeat in the local super market, or the hundreds of illuminated Christmas trees in the center of the city’s main street, Christmas is something you can’t avoid, even here!
Celebrating Japanese style
Coming a few days before Christmas, in fact, is the Emperor’s birthday, another reason for celebration in Japan. And, of course, Christmas coincides nicely with New Year, an event that is even bigger than Christmas here in the East.
I asked my Japanese friends why Christmas is so popular here, and the answer was that Japanese people just like to celebrate and give gifts.
A break from teaching
For your average teacher, then, this means time off work. What do you do with yourself when you are 6000 miles away from home, and you don’t have a job to go to? This is something that confronts teachers all around the world.
Some go straight down to the local Irish Pub or German Bar and down pints like they’re going out of fashion. Others brave the crowds and go to famous sightseeing spots – something that they’re heavy work schedule doesn’t normally allow time for.
My winter break
As for me, in traditional winter style, I’m going to watch Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life, and heat up some sake – that classic Yuletide drink. I may occasionally come out of my life hub of warmth to bring you a blog update, so keeping checking My TEFL Journey throughout the festive season!