The New Year Season in Japan

Date : 12/25/2020 10:00 (JST) Category : Blog

Merry Christmas everybody!
How are you going to spend your day today?

It’s very different from usual Christmas this year. I bet many of you can’t gather with your family… It’s sad, but I think this is necessary to protect each and every life. Still, we can have fun and an amazing time★

The New Year’s decoration

Today, I want to talk about the New Year. The New Year season is the most significant season for the Japanese. On 26th, all of the Christmas decorations are switched to the New Year’s. The main three of them are “Kadomatsu”, “Shimekazari” and “Kagamimochi”

Kadomatsu is made of bamboo and takes on the role of sign at an entrance to welcome the deity.

Shimekazari is decorated with auspicious items: the daidai, a Japanese bitter orange is considered a good omen because if “daidai” 「橙」 is written with a different kanji「代々」 can be translated as “from generation to generation”.

Kagamimochi is a rice cake that both offers to the deity and also yorishiro where God dwells.

The New Year’s decoration

What we do on the New Year’s Eve 

At the end of the year, we say “Yoi otoshi wo” to each other to wish each other a happy new year. And many Japanese people will do a big cleaning up of their homes at the end of the year. So that we can clean all of “This year’s mess” up.

It’s a tradition for Japanese people to eat “Toshikoshi Soba” on New Year’s Eve. Soba symbolizes a long life.

There’s an event called “Joya No Kane” in which Buddhist temples perform the tolling of a bell 108 times starting from midnight of New Year’s Eve.

What we do on the New Year’s Season 

There’s a special way to greet in this season. We say “Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu” and “Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu”. It means “Happy New Year” and “I’m looking forward to working with you this year”.

The first visit to a temple or shrine in the new year is called “Hatsumode.” There will be tons of people at temples and shrines. For example, at Meiji Jingu, one of the most popular shrines in Tokyo, had over three million people this year. People enjoy “Omikuji,” a type of fortune telling which predicts how the new year will be.

New Year’s Day is celebrated with a very special meal called Osechi-ryori. We have this only during the New Year season. Don’t forget the rice cake, too! We can eat rice cake any time of the year, but it’s an essential part of the New Year’s feast. It is prepared in soup, called Ozoni, or in sweet beans, called Oshiruko.

We send cards called Nengajo as a New Year greeting. Every year, everyone prepares a pile of New Year cards to exchange with family, friends, customers and clients. There is a custom called Otoshidama, where money is given as a New Year’s gift. Children receive “Otoshidama” from their parents and other relatives.

What we do on the New Year’s Season 

?In conclusion?

What did you think of Japanese New Year’s?

Didn’t it sound gorgeous and busy during this time? You will see people wearing Kimonos, too.

Come visit and experience this special time in Japan! (Of course after this pandemic!)

Take care and Yoi otoshi wo 😉

Here it is! Looks so good?
Date : 01/10/2020
the Japanese New Year’s meal
in France!

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