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Do Japanese celebrate Christmas on 24th or 25th?


Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays around the world, and every country has its unique way of celebrating it. Japan, being a predominantly Buddhist and Shinto country, has a different approach to Christmas compared to western countries. Many people wonder whether Japanese people celebrate Christmas on the 24th or 25th of December. In this article, we will delve deeper into this topic and provide you with comprehensive information about how Japanese people celebrate Christmas.

History of Christmas in Japan

Christmas is not a traditional holiday in Japan, but it was introduced in the country by Christian missionaries in the 16th century. However, it only became popular after World War II when American soldiers stationed in Japan started celebrating it. Nowadays, Christmas is widely celebrated in Japan, but in a different way than western countries.

Japanese Snack Box

24th or 25th?

In Japan, Christmas Eve (December 24th) is considered the main day of celebration. It is seen as a romantic holiday for couples to spend time together, exchange gifts and enjoy a romantic dinner. On the other hand, Christmas Day (December 25th) is not a public holiday in Japan and is not widely celebrated.

Christmas Decorations

During the Christmas season, Japanese streets are decorated with beautiful illuminations and light displays. Many stores and restaurants also decorate their storefronts with Christmas trees and decorations. However, these decorations are mainly for display purposes and do not hold any religious significance.

Christmas Food

One of the most popular Christmas traditions in Japan is eating KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) on Christmas Eve. This tradition started in the 1970s when KFC launched an advertising campaign called “Kentucky for Christmas.” Nowadays, people order their KFC meals weeks in advance to avoid long queues on Christmas Eve. Additionally, Christmas cakes are also popular in Japan, and many families enjoy them on Christmas Day.

Gift Giving

Gift-giving is also an essential part of Christmas celebrations in Japan. People exchange gifts with their loved ones and colleagues at work. However, unlike western countries where Santa Claus brings gifts to children, Japanese people give gifts directly to each other.

Christmas Events and Activities

Japanese people love to celebrate Christmas by attending various events and activities such as Christmas markets, concerts, and light shows. Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan also have special Christmas events during the holiday season.

Religious Significance

As previously mentioned, Christmas does not hold any religious significance in Japan. Although there are some Christian communities in Japan who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, the majority of Japanese people view it as a secular holiday for fun and enjoyment.

New Year’s Eve

In Japan, New Year’s Eve (December 31st) is considered a more important holiday than Christmas. It is a time for families to gather together, eat traditional food, and watch the ringing of the bells at temples across the country to welcome the new year.


In conclusion, Japanese people celebrate Christmas on December 24th as a secular holiday for fun and enjoyment rather than a religious observance. It is an opportunity for couples to spend time together, exchange gifts and enjoy a romantic dinner. Although it may be different from western countries’ traditions, Japanese people have created their unique way of celebrating this festive season.


– “Why do Japanese People Eat KFC on Christmas?” by The Culture Trip
– “How to Celebrate Christmas in Japan” by LiveJapan
– “Christmas Illuminations: A Guide to Winter Lights in Tokyo” by Tokyo Cheapo
– “Christmas in Japan: What You Need to Know” by Savvy Tokyo
– “Japanese New Year Traditions” by JNTO

Does Japan celebrate Christmas on the 24th?

In Japan, the main times for family gatherings are during the New Year’s holiday and Obon in August. December 25th, Christmas Day, is not an official holiday and many people still have to work.

Does Japan celebrate Christmas on the 25th?

Christmas is observed in Japan, but the customs and practices differ greatly from Western traditions. On December 25th, it is viewed as a day for couples rather than a day for families. Couples can be observed spending time together on romantic outings or admiring the winter illuminations.

What day do Japanese people celebrate Christmas?

December 25th is celebrated as Christmas Day every year, falling on different weekdays depending on the year.

Who celebrates Christmas on the 24th and 25th?

Christmas is celebrated on different dates around the world, and while many Britons celebrate it on December 25, it may surprise you to know that numerous countries celebrate it on Christmas Eve, December 24. In many parts of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, it is customary to exchange presents on the evening of December 24.

What is December 24th in Japan?

In Japan, Christmas Eve (December 24) is known as the most romantic day of the year and is considered the Japanese equivalent of Valentine’s Day. This is an interesting fact about the holiday season in Japan.

What countries don’t celebrate Christmas on the 24th?

Countries such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Bhutan, North Korea, Libya, Mauritania, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen do not acknowledge Christmas as a public holiday.

Commercialization of Christmas in Japan

The Japanese approach to Christmas is heavily influenced by commercialization, and many people see it as a time to spend money and buy gifts. Many stores offer Christmas sales and promotions, and it is common for people to buy expensive gifts for their loved ones. This commercialization has led to criticism from some who believe that the true meaning of Christmas is being lost.

Christmas in Schools

In Japan, Christmas is also celebrated in schools, but it is not a religious holiday. Schools often hold Christmas parties where students exchange gifts and play games. It is also common for schools to teach students about western Christmas traditions as part of their English language curriculum.

Christmas Eve as a Date Night

As mentioned earlier, Christmas Eve is considered a romantic holiday for couples to spend time together. It is common for couples to go on dates, exchange gifts, and enjoy a special dinner. Many restaurants offer special Christmas menus, and reservations are often required weeks in advance.

Charity and Giving Back During Christmas

Although Christmas is not a religious holiday in Japan, some people use it as an opportunity to give back to their communities. Charitable organizations often hold events during the holiday season, and many people donate money or volunteer their time to help those in need.


In conclusion, Christmas in Japan is a unique blend of western traditions and Japanese culture. Although it is not a religious holiday, it is widely celebrated as a time for fun, enjoyment, and gift-giving. The emphasis on commercialization has led to criticism from some, but others use the holiday season as an opportunity to give back and help those in need.

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