Saturday, November 5, 2011

It’s the great…kabocha?

So here’s the thing about Halloween in Japan. Well, a few things, actually.

They don’t have orange pumpkins in Japan…but they do have “pumpkins” (kabocha in English-or buttercup squash as we know it in North America.)

They don’t carve pumpkins…but I have seen faces painted or drawn on.

They don’t go trick’r’treating…but Halloween parties are immensely popular.

Basically Halloween in Japan is a “holiday” adopted from North America, similar to the Japanese treatment of Christmas. As far as I can tell, Halloween is a great excuse for marketers to advertise and make money. There is nothing scary about Halloween in Japan either-this is the country of cute, remember?

I am completely aware that marketers do the exact same thing in the U.S.A. But-speaking from my personal experience-Japan is missing the essence of Halloween.

Every year growing up, my siblings and I would think of and create our own costumes. Dad would take us out trick’r’treating while Mom stayed home handing out candy. When we came home, we would sit and go through the candy loot while watching “The Wizard of Oz” or “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”

I stopped trick’r’treating a long time ago, but I still love taking my younger siblings. And who doesn’t love carving pumpkins?!

Even though Japan does Halloween a bit differently, we still have lots of fun. This year we went to a couple great Halloween parties.

Holidays are more about the people you spend them with anyway, right?

I think so.
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