Culture

Happy Easter?

A few people have asked how Easter is celebrated in Japan. Short answer: It isn’t. At least not by the general public. While some western holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Halloween have been commercialized and are more or less omnipresent around their time of the year, I haven’t come across a single thing indicating Easter.

The aisles in the shops reserved for seasonal holidays and events are now filled with beer and barbecue accessory for the cherry blossom season which probably starts around early mid May here in Sapporo.

So why isn’t Easter celebrated as well? Who knows for sure, but there are some reasonable theories in this interesting article. So go read it.

(There isn’t even a Tofugu article on Easter in Japan. Remember the five I linked at Christmas?!)

Of course, the less than 1% Christian population surely does celebrate Easter, also similarly to western traditions. Children enjoy egg-hunting or shaping traditional Japanese sweets into bunnies. (Here are some recipes: 1, 2, 3) Because it falls together with the cherry blossom season or spring time in general (at least in most parts of Japan) it also seems to be common for families to go on a picnic. (Which is how the cherry blossom season is celebrated. Kinda. I’ll probably write about that when.)

Needless to say that it’s not a national holiday (just like all the other western ones by the way).

Happy Easter to anyone celebrating and hopefully a good few days off to anyone who gets some!

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