There used to be a lot of traditional, complicated customs to celebrate new years in Japan.
Being less interested in traditions, or maybe lazy, the customs are getting more simplified..
Here, you may get some picture of how modern Japanese new year celebration is…
When the year end is coming, usually aroud 12/25, a pair of KADOMATSU is placed in front of the entrance.
12/29 is avoided for the day because 9 sounds similar to the word that means “Pain” in Japanese.
Basically, there are two types of KADOMATSU as below. Can you tell the difference ?
On 12/31, most of Japanese people eat “Toshikoshi Soba” noodle, wishing for long and healthy lives and preparing for a new year.
Then,,,when 1/1 comes, it’s time to visit either Shrine of Temple for “HATSUMOUDE” to make a wish !
I went to Anahachiman shirine wearing Kimono on 1/1 and Yakuoin temple on Mr. Takao on 1/2.
It was my first time to watch mountain priests in line chanting a Buddhist sutra.
I felt the atmosphere of awe.
When you go to a shrine, you should try “OMIKUJI”, a paper that tells your fortune.
My OMIKUJI was “DAIKICHI”, which means very good luck. It was nice new year start expecting something wonderful to happen this year, wasn’t it ??
Coming back from HATSUMODE, I enjoyed “OZONI”, a kind of soup with rice cakes.
This is one of traditional dish for new year, but this makes you fat if you each too many rice cakes !
Unfortunately, my new year holidays ended on the night of 1/2, as I had to start working from the night…..