Celebrating New Year – Uniquely Japanese Way

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In most countries, Christmas and Thanksgiving are the most festive and well-celebrated occasions. During these days, people make the most preparations and spend it with their loved ones.

In Japan, it is known that New Year’s Day is like the Christmas for most countries. If you are a foreign worker or just a visitor in this country, you may find these information interesting:

1.Japanese people love to decorate their homes and business spaces. Special ornaments such as “Kadomatsu” (lucky pine) is usually placed at the front door of the house, while “kumade” (lucky rake) is for business areas such as stores. It is also important to clean up the whole house before New Year, which is believed to be attracting good fortune.

2.Personalized New Year’s card is made and given to friends and family members. For most Japanese, they create their own design and write down the message either manually or with the help of a computer. They can personalize as many as they want and send them via the post.

3.In other countries, money is given as a present to godchildren or family members. In Japan, only children receive a specially decorated envelop with money inside and commonly receive 5,000 yen or even higher. Parents give “otoshidama” to their children, but even grandparents are allowed to do so.

4.Visiting a shrine is also good trait among Japanese. If Christians go to churches, Japanese go to shrines. It is important for them to visit because this is how Japanese worship and express their gratitude for the many blessings received the past year.

5.Food is always there. Commonly, “Osechi” is served and comes in boxed meals. It includes various ingredients, wherein everything has a meaning. They can buy these meal boxes or simply make one at home.

Regardless of how you celebrate New Year, whether in a quiet or noisy way, what stands out the most is the idea that families come together and celebrate as one.

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