“Destroy Christmas!” chants Revolutionary Alliance of Unpopular Men as it takes to the streets in annual demonstration.

Christmas Eve is the romantic event of the year in Japan, and so you’ll see countless couples strolling hand in hand down Tokyo’s boulevards as they admire the seasonal decorations. But on the afternoon of December 24 a group of like-minded individuals walked through downtown for a very different purpose.

At roughly 2 p.m., the Revolutionary Alliance of Unpopular Men, as the group calls itself, departed from Yoyogi Park, in downtown Tokyo, on a protest march. The target of their ire: Christmas itself. The marchers at the front of the group carried a banner with “Destroy Christmas” written on it, and the group, which consisted of roughly 15 demonstrators, shouted slogans such as:

“We oppose Christmas!”
Explode, people with active social lives!
“Repent, couples!”
“What’s wrong with being unpopular?”

▼ Note the man in the hard hat with “second-year delusions” written on it, wearing a sign that reads “It doesn’t matter how many times you have sex!”

This was no quick little protest either. The group continued walking and chanting all the way to the area around Shibuya Station, a trek which took about 30 minutes.

▼ Extended footage of the march, in which you can hear “Kurisumasu hantai” (“We oppose Christmas”) and “Kurisumasu funasi” (“Destroy Christmas”) over and over again.

2017 actually marks the 10th consecutive year for the protest march to be held. The same organizers also stage a Valentine’s Day protest, with 2017’s iteration having taken place in the Shinjuku neighborhood.

This might sound like a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun by guys who couldn’t get a date for Christmas Eve or Valentine’s, but there seems to be a certain measure of genuine resentment towards the romantic festivities and amorous revelers. There’s hardly any joviality shown during the marches, with protestors walking in the street, occupying lanes ordinarily reserved for motor vehicle traffic. The only brief moment of levity comes when one creative participant goes off-script and shouts “Burn the Christmas trees,” which gets a few chuckles at the top video’s 2:36 mark.

While being dateless on what Japanese society considers the most romantic night of the year can be a downer for some people, it’s worth noting that in recent years, as Japan has taken a more relaxed approach to dating, not having a date on December 24 has lost some of its stigma. Certain businesses actually cater specifically to singles on Christmas Eve. And even if none of the protesters have girlfriends, they’ve assembled a pretty sizable group of, if not necessarily close friends, at least people who’re willing to hang out with each other on a Sunday, so it seems like with just a little more effort, they can probably channel that frustration into more constructive ventures than taking to the streets in protest of people who do have a date.

Source: Huffington Post Japan via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/noxxx710