We know Japan adores chocolate, but what does Japan think of Halloween, the biggest chocolate-eating holiday of the year?
As it turns out, Japan loves Halloween, too! However, how Japan celebrates Halloween is vastly different from how America celebrates Halloween. Let’s take a look at #HowJapanDoesHalloween:
Just like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, Halloween is a Western holiday that Japan only recently adopted and made its own. This spooky holiday exploded in popularity in just the past ten years, and we can contribute most of that growth to the rise of social media.
While our Halloween tends to center around door-to-door trick-or-treating and accumulating bags upon bags of free candy, celebrators in Japan cut this tradition out almost entirely. Trick-or-treating might only happen in schools as a fun way to teach children Western culture or, most recently, at some shopping centers.
Instead of trick-or-treating being the main appeal, Halloween in Japan focuses mostly on costumes and the spooky aesthetics, and teens and young adults are by far the most involved. Costumed teens and young adults parade and celebrate in the streets, and some areas in Tokyo (most famously Shibuya and Roppongi) host public street parties.
Jack-o-lanterns survived the overseas journey, but they look a little different in Japan; native Japanese pumpkins have a dark green, almost black rind! If anything, this color ups the fright factor of Jack-o-lanterns!
Just because Halloween in Japan doesn’t necessarily center around candy, doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of it to go around! Halloween-themed chocolates, candies and desserts in colors of orange, purple, green, and black are extremely popular this time of year. And when it comes to these treats, the packaging is just as important as the sweets!
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