Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Year celebration in Japan(ake-mashite-omedetou-gozaimasu)

The Japanese New Year(shogatsu or oshogatsu) is celebrated Day on January 1.Japan has adopted the solar calendar since 1873 and the New Year celebration starts on January 1.People say to each other "ake-mashite-omedetou-gozaimasu" (Happy New Year).

Hatsu Mohde

During the new year they will visit a shrine or temple.The first visit to the temple is called "Hatsu Mohde".Tokyo's Meiji Shrine, attract several million people during the three days.

Bell(joya no kane )

On the New year eve Buddhist temples ring bells 108 times to welcome the new yearIt is supposed to release people from the 108 worldly sins..

Osechi ryouri

Their traditional new year food.Osechi ryouri is packed in a Jubako box, which has several layers.They consist of traditional dishes like prawns for long life, kuromame (sweet black beans) for health, kazunoko (herring roe) for fertility, tazukuri (teriyaki taste small sardines) for a good harvest, kurikinton (sweet chestnuts and mashed sweet potato) for happiness, and so on.

On New Year's Day, the family starts the New Year with a "mochi" or rice cake breakfast. The rice cake is served in a stew called "Ozoni.

New year cards

The Japanese have a custom of sending New Year's Day postcards (nengajo) to their friends and relatives


Bonenkai is a new year party which is celebrated purpose of leaving the old year's thoughts, forget the unpleasant memories of the passing year and to welcome the New Year .


Parents/Elders give money to the children during the New year is a tradition.


Kadomatsu are Japanese New Year's decorations made with pine and bamboo. A pair of kadomatsu are placed outside doors or gates.


These wooden objects are called Ema. One would write prayers on the Ema and it would be hung up in the shrine here with the others. Many people draw cute characters on them.


There are also a few games traditionally played on New Year, however, their popularity has decreased in recent times. Hanetsuki (Japanese badminton), takoage (kite flying), and karuta (a card game) are some of them.


Omikuji are Japanese fortune telling paper strips often found at shrines and temples in Japan. After being picked, omikuji paper strips are tied to the branches of a tree on the shrine ground.
Cranes and turtles are symbols of longevity and happiness.