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“Christmas is Cancelled. Santa was arrested on the charge of trespassing.”
Christmas Cancellation Announcement (Japanese: クリスマス中止のお知らせ, Christmas Chuushi no Oshirase) is a series of copypastas typically used as a spoof news announcement during holiday seasons that Christmas “has been cancelled” due to a variety of unforeseen events. The concept of “canceling Christmas” can be seen as a self-deprecative joke among single-status Japanese Internet users who remain little affected by the secular and mostly romantic holiday of Christmas in Japan.
The text-only announcements were seen as early as 2002 on the Japanese imageboard site 2channel. The oldest known image of such announcement can be traced to this instance shown below, which was initially uploaded via Japanese web in December 2003.
Background: Christmas in Japan
For the majority of non-Christian population in Japan and elsewhere in East Asia, Christmas is often celebrated as a secular, romantic and commercial-driven holiday. Due to its heavy association with couple-oriented events and special dates, Christmas is also regarded as a source of nuisance by those who are left without any plans for special events or romantic dates, which makes the holiday ripe for tongue-in-cheek comedy and self-deprecative humor on the web.
In 2003, the hoax of “Christmas cancellation” initially spread across 2channel and other affiliated imageboards as a cruel joke about Santa Clause’s accidental death; however, it was soon accepted by the broader online population around 2005 with the emergence of “Himote” (非モテ, non-popular), a resistance movement against popular idols and mainstream values, as an influential concept of humor on the Japanese web. After establishing base support with those identifying with “Himote,” copypasta announcements of Christmas cancellation continued to grow and became generally associated with idle, lonely singles during the holiday seasons. In addition, it also inspired derivative announcements suited for other similar romantic holidays such as Valentine’s Day and White Day. A comprehensive list of parodies and spin-off hoaxes are listed in a web page.
Similar online communions of lonely singles during holiday seasons have been observed elsewhere, such as South Korea’s Solo Regiment, China’s Loneliness Party and to a lesser extent, Forever Alone on the English-speaking web.
Although reasons cited for cancellation of Christmas vary from copy pasta to copy pasta, many early versions included stories about odd misfortunes or accidents that had supposedly struck in the way of Santa Clause. Meanwhile, some of the newer versions incorporate actual news events like the Avian Flu and Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown as the purported reasons behind the announcement.
Military Draft of Santa Clause (2007)
Disclosure of False Report on TV show (2008)
Union Strike by Nippon Santa Association (2008)
Public Health Concerns of Avian Flu (2009)
In addition to the announcements, participants of the annual event on Nico Nico Douga and Pixiv have created various songs and illustrations in propagating the hoax of Christmas cancellation, drawing influences from Vocaloid songs and MAD videos.
Hyadain‘s "Xmas? I don’t know such a thing!!" クリスマス？なにそれ美味しいの？
Miku Hatsune’s Vocaloid Song on Christmas Cancellation
Spoof Newspaper Edition  of Christmas Cancellation in Tokyo
As Google Insights graph reveals, search queries for ‘クリスマス中止のお知らせ’ or “Christmas Cancellation Announcement” yields consistent spikes towards the end of each year.
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