Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Actually our celebrations here in Japan yesterday were very low-keyed. Japan does not understand Easter yet and so there are no bunnies or eggs or chicks or baskets floating around (let alone Jesus and Halleluias!). Other originally western holidays have been adopted by the Japanese marketing world, but not Easter which is fine for my liking.

Christmas has overtaken Japan with decorations and Christmas cakes and some people ask me if Christians celebrate Christmas.

Valentine's day makes for a booming chocolate market and women and girls buy chocolate for any male friends or partners. There is a whole category of chocolate called "obligation chocolate", cheap and miniscule, for women who feel they have to buy chocolate for their co-workers, boss, classmates etc. even when there are no romantic feelings at all.

A completely Japanese holiday is White Day, celebrated March 14, and the males of Japan are roped into reciprocating the Valentine's day obligation chocolate with either canned cookies or white chocolate.

St. Patrick's Day gets overlooked as does April Fool's Day.

Mother's Day is a biggy and everyone is supposed to buy their mother carnations. Father's Day is just starting to catch on.

Of course no Independence Day or Thanksgiving Day or President's Day etc.

I guess that covers most of the western holidays celebrated in Japan. Of course there is a whole set of unique Japanese holidays, Girls' Day which was earlier this month and Boy's Day which is coming up in May.

Yesterday at church the children decorated Easter eggs (a first for most of the kids) and passed those out to the church members. No one really has a garden or even a yard for an Easter egg hunt and my English kids are always on spring break so I don't usually see them when Easter rolls around. One man was baptized during the church service and this is very common in the Japanese church. Baptisms are usually confined to the Christmas and Easter services. We had a simple luncheon after church and then a worship and praise service in the evening. A late dinner together which gave us a chance to get to know our new brother in Christ and his family.

And here is a picture of an Easter card that Marlene found at her church and gave to me. You may not think it very interesting but since the Christian population is still less than one percent in Japan, most Christian items are imported from elsewhere. Marlene and I both looked at this card and thought

"Wow! A Japanese looking Easter card! Will wonders never cease!"

Happy Easter to you all!


Quilt Pixie said...

may you and your family have a blessed Easter season :-)

Annette said...

He is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
Happy resurrection day to you and your family. I really wish that the bunnies and eggs hadn't taken over the most blessed Christian holiday, but then there's the half-off Easter chocolate tomorrow...which I don't need either...sigh.
I so appreciate your look into the life of a Christian woman (who quilts, to boot!)in Japan, and pray for God's continued blessings on you!
Annette in California

Katie said...

So interesting to learn about other parts of our world. Thanks for sharing.

Annelies said...

Happy Easter ! In The netherlands we celebrate it on Sunday and Monday. (eating lots of chocolate eggs)

Claudia said...

Happy Easter to you, too. Here in Italy Easter is important as Christmas.
I love your blog, you make wonderful works!

meggie said...

I like that card. As you say it has a Japanese look about it.
I just love your When O When!! It is a stunning quilt, & you have done it beautifully.

andsewitis Holly said...

Happy Easter to you, Tanya! I think being baptized on Easter will have very special meaning to the new brother in Christ - buried with Him and raised into newness of life.

Your when-oh-when quilt is gorgeous!