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Do the Japanese celebrate Easter?

by Ewa Nowogorski

Easter is not a holiday generally celebrated by those who are not of Christian faith. Although it is a day where Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, I think that not a single non-Christian Japanese person would know this fact, even if they do know about Easter. It is mostly a day where people have an excuse to decorate their house with plastic grass and eat chocolate bunnies and eggs.

Easter is definitely not as popular as some of the other Christian and Pagan holidays, but it is slowly-very slowly- surfacing in the world of Japan. Some time in late February, as soon as Valentine’s day is over, it will not be uncommon to see Easter goods being sold in stores such as one coin shops. The cute bunnies and baby chicks that adorn the designs of many goods are irresistible to the Japanese, who almost have an impulse to buy anything they deem cute and associate themselves with it.

As Easter takes place in early April, most people are too distracted by the cherry blossom blooming that is beginning to happen at this time. Rather than take wicker baskets full of painted eggs, bread loves, chocolate bunnies, sausages, and sugar chicks to church to get blessed, people would much rather take a picnic basket outside and sit under a cherry blossom tree as it’s blooming to enjoy lunch with their friends, coworkers, and family.

For now, and for possibly a long time to come, Easter will largely remain a minor holiday, mainly for commercial gain.

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