A Happy New Year of 2021!
This time, I would like to write about Japanese traditional customs of new year’s holidays.
As I explained in the article of Christmas dinner (クリスマスディナー), new year’s holidays are more important for Japanese people compared to Christmas, and usually we spend new year’s holidays with family.
Big year end cleaning ups
Traditionally we have big year end cleaning ups of our own homes and offices by the end of December in order to welcome God into our own homes and during the first three days of the new year we avoid from cleaning homes not to drive away the God. Anyway, after the cleaning, we put up decorations similar to Christmas wreath at entrances.
New year’s eve soba
On the new year’s eve, we eat new year’s eve soba and wish a long healthy life. And a lot of people watch the Japan Record Award and the annual Red vs White Music Show with a family. At the same timing of the end of the music show, buddhist temples star to hit a huge bell 108 times before the midnight, and a lot of people go to shrines or temples after the midnight to wish a happy new year.
Ozoni & Osechi
Through the first three days of the new year, we eat Ozoni (miso soup with rice cakes and vegetables) and Osechi (compartment box of assorted seafood and other mini dishes prepared for the Japanese New Year.
New Year cards & New Years gift of money
We exchange lottery new years cards to family, friends, co-workers, clients, etc. Children receive money from their parents and other relatives.
There are a lot more to explain in details, but I would like to save for the next time.
Based on the news in Japan, a lot of people didn’t go back to their home town for this new years holidays due to the corona virus. I hope we can have a normal new year’s eve this year and new year’s holidays next year with family.