Japanese festival, I like-New Year's Day
In Japan, New Year's Day is more important than Christmas.
Besides cleaning and decorating the house for the New Year, every housewife keeps herself busy preparing traditional New Year dishes called osechi and pounded rice-cakes called omochi.
At exactly 12 o'clock midnight on New Year's Eve, every temple bell throughout the country starts ringing out the old year and ringing in the new year. Japanese call these bell-gongs joya no kane. The bells have the meaning of driving away our 180 kinds of worldly troubles. On the morning of New Year's Day, Japanese eat rice cake soup called o-zoni with their family and pray for health and happiness through the year. During the New Year's Holidays, most Japanese go to Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples.
And to my delight, the children are presented with money, called otosidama from their parents and relatives as a new year's gift.
On New Year's Day, we can feel the pleasures of a happy home. So I like it the best.
Last updated 6-Dec-2001