Japan: New Year

January 03, 2008

The new year in Japanese brings with it some traditions. On December 31st, the family came together to eat o-sechi, which is basically a box with lots of different small-portioned food in it. Actually not that great, but it is traditional and fairly expensive.

At around 11:30pm, after the annual NHK Kohaku Utagassen singing contest finished, we ate some new years Toshikoshi soba. Tradition has it that you eat the soba and drink the soup before midnight, but you must not leave anything behind in the bowl.

New year's day, and the kids in the house got packets of money (Otoshidama). I remember getting such when I was younger and, frankly, it was awesome. Too bad no money packets are given to adults. Had azuki and mochi for breakfast, and lunch was what was left of the night before's o-sechi. All nengajo (new year's cards) are delivered on this day, regardless of when you sent them before.

Today, the wife and I, along with her friends, made our way to Nishinomiya to a temple to get our new year's fortune (Hatsumoude). You shake a tube full of sticks and then pull one out. The stick has a number which corresponds to a fortune. I got the best one, while one of the wife's friends got the worse. I don't really believe it, but no harm in trying, eh?
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1 comment:

Allan Chapman said...

Hey dude, Happy New Years! Sorry its late, but you know how I generally feel towards these kind of holidays.

And dude! I just downloaded A Question Of Promise 4... only to discover that I did not have 3 yet! Mate, you gotta warn me of such things, cause I'm totally hopeless!!

Take it easy!