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Old 12-24-2012, 04:33 AM   #21704
Stitchawl
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand
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Any expectations that you might put weight back on over the festive period, or are you sticking to the diet?
No big meals planned. We had though about baking an apple pie as the Fuji apples are really good right now, but we forgot about it when we went food shopping the other day and didn't pick up the needed supplies. Dinner tonight will be a Chinese vegetable soup with tofu, and nothing special planned for Christmas Day foods. We'll probably just stop by for some sushi on one of our walks. My wife's family is all down in the southern island of Kyushu and they don't do anything special for Christmas any way. They are all Buddhist, although two of the nephews did have Christian weddings.

Christmas and New Year are sort of swapped around in Japan. Here, New Years is the time for family gatherings, while Christmas is the time for party. All the paired-up college kids and young unmarrieds will head for a Love Hotel for Christmas Eve. Older folks... it's just another night. New Years Day the families gather, but not for eating. They all go to a Shinto shrine to offer prayers for the new year; good school grades, success in business, finding a marriage partner, good health, etc. The prayers are very pragmatic and individual. Not much praying for peace or ending World Hunger. There are long lines at every shrine, people waiting to get to the front, throw some coins into the box, ring the bell to wake up the Kami (spirits) and make their prayers. Might have to stand in line for an hour or two at the bigger shrines, but most families will go to neighborhood ones. Some might go to Buddhist temples, but everyone knows that the Shinto shrines are more effective for this...

Stitchawl
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