New Year’s day

In Japan, new year’s day is the most important event.
Almost stores close on new year’s day, and I feel solemn.

My family tend to enjoy event and Japanese culture.
My parents say “please stay at home when we see the old year out and the New Year in,
so I’ve never been with my friends and boyfriend on the end of new yea’s eve.

Then, there are many traditional things on new year’s day.
I’ll write “my” new year’s day, so I don’t think every Japanese spend new year’s day like my family.

大晦日 New Year’s Eve
-紅白歌合戦 Kouhaku
We watch “Kouhaku”.
Kouhaku is a TV program  and only for new year’s eve.
Kouhaku means red and white, and singer separate into red team and white team.
Women belong to red team. and men belong to white team.
Popular singer sing and we vote which team is good.
Usually, I don’t watch song program. (Actually, I don’t watch TV so much.)
However, I wanna feel New Year’s Eve, and just talk with my family during watching Kouhaku.
I’ve lived by myself for 6 years, so I just wanna talk about music with my family.
I don’t listen J-Pop so much, but I enjoy talking.

-年越しそば Soba for coming new year
I don’t know why we eat, but it’s Japanese custom to eat Soba on New Year’s Eve.
It’s same as usual Soba, but we call it “年越しそば Toshikoshi Soba” when we eat it on New year’s Eve.
*年越しそば means Soba for coming new year

お正月 New Year’s day
My family eat breakfast around 9:00 a.m.
It is later than usual.
Why? I think that everyone don’t want to wake up early on new year’s day,
and just wait for everyone, because we eat breakfast together.

We sit around Kotatsu. (Kotatsu is a low table and cover with coverlet. It’s really warm, so we love it)
My father says “あけましておめでとうございます。今年も宜しくおねがいします。Happy new year. I look forward to your continued good will in the coming year.”
(It’s difficult to translate because it’s a greeting for new year’s day.)
We say same greeting.
Then, we talk about each own goal in the order of olds, so my grandma is first and my younger brother is the last.
I said just “This year, I wanna get more points on TOEIC, and work hard for my third year of job. I will move, and I don’t have any specific plan now, but I will”.
After that, if there is a child, we give お年玉 Otoshidama.
We give money for children.
In my family, the child who go school can be given it.
Therefore, I gave Otoshidama to my brother. (He is 22 years old!!)
Our relatives gave Otoshidama to our parents in advance, they just keep it, and they gave them to my brothers, too.

After these conversations, we drink Otoso.

-お屠蘇 Otoso
It’s special Sake for New year’s day.
It contains some medicine, and drink for praying our health.

When we drink it, there are some rules.
Drink n the order of olds. (I searched for rules on the Internet, they say “Drink in the order of youngs)
Pour into three times, and drink by three times.

-おせち Osechi

It’s special meals for New year’s day.
It looks like gorgeous Bento box.
Each meal has good meaning.
For example, Kazunoko is eggs of herring, and it means “Be blessed with many children”.
We eat for good luck.

-お雑煮 Ozoni

It’s special Mochi soup.
Put baked Mochi into the soup.

After eating, we go to 初詣 Hatsumode.

Before I write about Hatsumode, I wanna talk about decorating house.
-しめ縄 Shimenawa

It is like a chrismas wreath.
We just decorate on the door.

It uses pine and bamboo.
It decorates gates, but in my house, there is in the entrance, too.

-初詣 Hatsumode
It means the first pray.
My parents like Kengun shrine and Ukishima shrine.
(My hometown is near Kumamoto city)
We go to these shrines.
We pray for each wish.
Recently, I don’t have any trouble, so I just pray for our health.

Then, We draw our future.
It’s called おみくじ Omikuji.
I pick up one, and it says some fortune telling.
I don’t believe so much, but enjoy.

Ukishima Shrine means floating island Shrine.
It doesn’t float actually, but it looks like floating.

In Japanese, floating is 浮く Uku.
Then, passing in an exam is 受かる Ukaru.
It almost same, so this shrine has good luck.
My father’s hobby is fly-fishing, and this shrine enshrine float for fishing,
so he like Ukishima Shrine, and buys a float good luck charm.

Kengun shrine is popular, so many people go to there.
InKengun shrine, Shinto priests exorcise bad luck.
(*but I know, it’s for only Hatsumoude, and they are part-time job!)

My family lived at my mother’s house before.
My mother’s parents had passed away, so she keeps many things.
My mother keeps Kimonos, too.
In recent years, I wear Kimonos to go to Hatsumode.
I don’t know about Kimono deeply, but these Kimonos are kind of 小紋 Komon.
It’s easy to wear. I have my Kimono, and it’s is 振り袖 Furisode.
It was for my new coming age of ceremony, and it’s difficult to wear,
so I can’t wear by myself, and my mother can’t help me into Furisode.
However, she can help me into Komon.
In my house, there are about 5 Kimonos, maybe, and I put on these.
I’ll show my photos.

It’s my Furisode for new coming age of ceremony.

2012, ensemble Kimono

2013, Komon (My aunt gave me it)

2014, Komon (same as 2013)


In addition, It’s my photo of university graduation ceremony.
It’s Hakama, but I use my Furisode, too.

I wanna switch back to the topic.

My parents prepare a fantastic dinner for new year’s day.
This year, we ate reallyreally really really really expensive sea urchin.
My parents usually get good sea food before New Year’s day.
Dinner of New Year’s day is my happiness!


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