Christmas is just around the corner and greeting cards from friends around the world are starting to fill my mailbox.
The good old Christmas message is no doubt “Merry Christmas,” but some of the cards read “Happy holidays!”
I thought “Happy holidays” could be used for not just Christmas but all other holidays but I was wrong.
It’s a Christmas only message.
I was told that around Christmas time, which is a Christian celebration, holidays of other faith and cultures also take place, such as Jewish and African American holidays.
Do you write Christmas cards?
In English-speaking countries, instead of New Year’s cards (年賀状）people send Christmas cards to wish merry Christmas and the New Year.
Since Christmas is a Christian event, all Christmas messages inevitably have religious reference, but here are some that can be used even those without religious faiths…
- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
- Wishing you a Merry Christmas!
- Merry Christmas with lots of love.
- Have a great Christmas! Wishing you a wonderful year.
Christmas & New Years in the UK
The way people spend Christmas and New Years in Europe and America is the opposite of Japan.
Christmas is an equivalent of Japanese New Years, which means that it is a big family event.
On New Year’s Eve you either spend a romantic time with your significant other or go out and party with friends.
The city of London turns into a huge party which climaxes in a fire work display in front of the Big Ben.
December 24th is called Christmas Eve, 25th is Christmas Day, and in the UK 26th is a national holiday called Boxing Day.
Boxing Day has nothing to do with the sport boxing and it literally means a ‘box.’ The origin goes back to the seventeen century when the workers and tradesmen received boxes of gifts from their employees and clients as a token of appreciation for the year’s good work. The Modern day Boxing Day has degenerated itself into one big commercial frenzy of a Christmas sale.
As people take three days off over Christmas, they work straight through the New Years taking only January 1 off, which is a national holiday. This is the time when I most missed my country, feeling huge absence of serenity, joy and excitement that fill the first three days of the new year in Japan.
The word ‘eve’ means the day before or the night before an important event.
Thus, December 31 is called New Year’s Eve.
Team EIGO2020 would like to thank you for supporting us through 2018.
Next year, we will see the countdown to the Olympics officially kick off.
We look forward to seeing you in 2019 and all the exciting moments that we will share.
Happy Holidays! And Happy New Year![日本語訳へ]