New Year Japan a guide to New Year Japanese traditions and activities

New Year in Japan most Japanese people cherish the traditions of their country. 

Every detail of the New Year's celebration in the rising sun country is symbolic - dishes festive table decoration, custom gifts. As in Russia, it is customary to celebrate the new year in Japan on 1 January. However, almost all employees go on leave on 29–30 December. The period of festivals in the country is called "Golden Week".

new year japanese
New Year Japan a guide to New Year Japanese traditions and activities 
New Year Japan preparation begins in early December :

Holiday fairs and markets open. Here you can buy basic gifts, souvenirs, amulets, talismans and other ritual items required for the new year. Hamimi - Sharp arrows with white wings, which protect the house from troubles and evil forces. Telescope - Boats with rice and other treasures, on which the seven gods sit, symbolize prosperity and happiness. Such boats, as well as depicting the seven gods, are placed under pillows on New Year's Eve for a futuristic dream. Daruma is a Buddhist deity, a doll similar to a tumbler made of wood or paper. Daruma did not initially have eyes. 

When he makes a cherished wish, a boss will draw an eye for him. But the other eye is visible away from every daroo. It is portrayed only when the wish is fulfilled during the year. 

The doll is then given the most honorable place in the house. And, if the wish is not fulfilled, the doll is burned, along with other features of the new year. And it is expected to be placed on the next doll. Amulets necessary for happiness - kumde (bear's claw). It looks like a rake made of bamboo. It is believed that they are very convenient for "rake" pleasure.

Japanese people decorate the house with fun in New Year  


Kadomatsu are placed on both sides of the entrance of the house - "Cedar at the entrance." It is a greeting to the God of New Year holiday consisting of bamboo trunks, cedar branches, fern branches, tangerine and other decorations.

All components of the Christmas decorations are a symbol of something. Instead of Kodomtsu, you can find Shimenwa - a rope, twisted in a particular manner of rice bran, and Tenjerin and decorated with fern leaves. These creations call for happiness, good luck and health in the home.

In the houses, instead of our traditional Christmas trees, the Japanese placed willow or bamboo branches, decorated with cobbler balls, flowers and fruits. It is a new year tree of Moribana. Made Glutin rice small Kolobok is hit on the individual is painted in different colours and twigs.

Moribana is painted in yellow, green or pink and are installed in a conspicuous place or hang from the ceiling at the entrance, so that the New Year deity - Toshigami, "entering the house", immediately remembered her "duty" to take care of the hospitable hosts in the coming year. According to a belief, at the end of the festivities, each member of the family had to eat as many koloboks of the motiban, how many years old he turned this year, as this gives special strength.

Pyramid of two flat cakes of different sizes, crowned with Japanese citrus daidai. This decoration is called "kagami-mochi".


New Year Japan a guide to New Year Japanese traditions and activities
New Year Japan a guide to New Year Japanese traditions and activities 
 
The most important New Year’s ritual is the sending of New Year’s greeting cards (Nengajou) with the image of the symbol of the coming year - one of the twelve oriental zodiac signs. Such a great importance is attached to this tradition that even in the elementary grades of school, children are taught to write postcards correctly.

Many Japanese still write their own text and even sign a calligraphy on a finished printing card, indicating a special respect for the recipient. But you can buy a blank card to write and draw on what the soul desires.
Postcards are sent by thousands. After all, you really need to congratulate all relatives, acquaintances and friends. Also, if you have received a card from someone whom you have not sent yourself, you need to correct the situation immediately.

It is advisable to send a return card by 3 January. In extreme cases, by the 7th, but with apologies for being late. Those who have died in the last one year are exempted from sending postcards. They should inform everyone in advance that they do not want to receive congratulations this year.


In Japan, it is the practice of the New Year that all debts must be repaid in the last days of the year. Otherwise, they will leave until next year :


For most Japanese, work comes first. And celebrating holidays with colleagues is also an unbroken tradition. All Japanese companies organise bonkei (old-year oblivion parties) for employees. Celebrate right at work or rent a restaurant.

This evening (only once a year) the outline of the situation disappears. For acquaintance and disrespect for the authorities, punishment will not follow.Gifts are usually given on New Year's Eve. The youth give gifts to their superiors (seniors, teachers, relatives). These gifts are called o-seibo. The cost of a gift to colleagues is clearly determined by rank. Gifts can be ordered in advance in the special department of any store throughout December. It will be packed and delivered on the appointed day. Usually in the first week of January.

The second type of gift is called otoshidama (treasure of the year). These are colourful envelopes decorated with a special bow with money. As a rule, fathers hand these envelopes to their children. In general, any older relative is younger. Relatives of the older generation and people of the same status, as a rule, owe each other nothing.The whole family gathers for an evening meal (Oshoka) on 31 December. There are no random products on the table.


New Year Japan a guide to New Year Japanese traditions and activities
New Year Japan a guide to New Year Japanese traditions and activities 
All with value only. Thin buckwheat noodles symbolize the longevity and well-being of the entire family.Cold Christmas Food (O-SETI) is stored in a four-story lacquer box. All these exotic dishes may not be the most delicious, but they have a deeper meaning and a whole philosophical system, something good for each product. So, Jubako (eating their various types of boiled fish, vegetables and eggs) contributes to a person's perfection, giving him peace, vitality, determination. 

Kazunoko - Salted caviar in broth with soy sauce brings joy to family life and many healthy children. Kaurome - Sweet Boiled Black Soybean Health and Longevity, Kagami-Shoemaker - Wealth. For pleasure - seaweed is prepared in a special way, for success in business - roasted chestnuts. All New Year dishes are arranged so efficiently and beautifully in a combination of flowers and utensils that it is not without reason that they say figuratively about the Japanese: they eat with their eyes,Before the food is absorbed, you are supposed to drink o-tos - a ceremonial drink. "Tosso" means breaking the evil mantra and awakening the human spirit.   

According to the Chinese recipe for o-tos is prepared from infusion of medicinal plants. Japan is literally involved in the preparation of a variety of o-seti ingredients, mochi rice cakes and zony soup.Then the smartly dressed Japanese gather at the temples.

First in Buddhism. Here they pray, thank the gods for all the good things in the previous year, and ring the bell to get their attention in the coming year. Ringing the bell is a special success with the new year. But the most important element of farewell is the most interesting New Year ritual of cleansing from all sins. He struck the largest copper bell 108 times with a heavy log suspended on the chains, thus reporting the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one.

According to Buddhist beliefs, a person can have six traits: greed, anger, stupidity, insignificance, indecision and greed; Each of them, in turn, is in 18 different colours. Thus, 108 fatal passions place a burden on a person. 
And every bell on the eve of the new year is one of these woes.In general, Japan celebrates the New Year with a bell ringing from all temples. After cleaning themselves, the Japanese go to Shinto shrines, where they are already waiting for a stack of barrels of Japanese vodka.True, fun, dancing and shouting "Campai!" (Toast, meaning "drink", "good health") will be a little later. First they will light a new fire - Okra Marie.

The dried roots of okra (Japanese chrysanthemum) are used to light sacred lanterns in temples on 31 December. From the lantern, the Japanese will burn their straw ropes and carry fires to their homes and burn the first fire in a dwelling or bonfire next to it. For happiness and health in the new year.According to another tradition, on New Year's Eve, the Japanese go to sleep early to celebrate the New Year in the morning. They clap in front of them with the first rays of the Sun. This ritual is called Kasivade.

Then everyone again goes to the temples, where they throw coins on special white panels and pray. After that, the Japanese buy wooden chestnuts, where they appeal to the gods and omikuji - fortune-telling with paper strips.After returning home, Japanese special "youth" wash themselves with water. Again, for happiness and riches, they will drink "tea of happiness" with pickled plums and have a bite of ozoni from beans, vegetables, mushrooms, fish, shrimp, chicken and ... mochi!

Then they will go on a journey. In addition, such seizures are often purely symbolic. Enough to leave and leave the business card "I was here" on a special tray.


New Year Japan a guide to New Year Japanese traditions and activities
New Year Japan  
January 2 is dedicated to commencement. In calligraphy the first competition of school children, the first tea ceremony, and ... the Japanese make their first purchases at the first auction. Of course ... good luck!

And then one or two weeks are devoted to festive events. Someone competes in knowledge of traditional Japanese poetry. Boys fly kites (taco-ge). The girls play the shuttlecock (hentsuki), the same racket (hagoita).

Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri) are held in the northern regions of Japan. The festival is particularly famous in Sapporo, where the forts, cities are made of snow and historical figures are carved.

Yes. But what about "Santa Claus"? In Japan, of course, he is also. His name is Segatsu-san (Mr. New Year). He is wearing a sky blue kimono. During New Year (golden) week, he walks into homes and offices and wishes the Japanese New Year. But he does not give gifts. Therefore, in recent years, more and more younger Japanese people like Oji-san (actually Santa Claus), who appeared in Japan so long ago, but ... with gifts that he brings from the sea is.
As a rule, the Japanese mood stays with the Japanese for about 3-4 days, then everyone starts tuning in on the workday. At the end of the weekend, most housewives cook another national dish - nanagusa-kayu (rice porridge with herbs).

On January 15, Japanese families remove all New Year decorations from the house and burn it in a crowded place. It ends the New Year greetings.
New Year Japan a guide to New Year Japanese traditions and activities New Year Japan a guide to New Year Japanese traditions and activities Reviewed by TONY MAG on October 10, 2019 Rating: 5
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