Happy New Year!
Thank you for your support in the past year and we wish you a great 2020 and a wonderful time ahead. In Japan New Year’s Day greeting cards “nengajo” are exchanged to wish the prosperous year and this is our nengajo to you!
New Year’s Day is the most important date of the year in Japan and the celebration of New Year’s Day “oshogatsu” follows many traditions such as Osechi (special food for oshogatsu), Hatsumoude (first worship of the year), Otoshidama(money children receive from parents and relatives), Hatsuhinode (first sunrise of the year)… the list goes on!
On New Year’s Day, it is believed that the New Year’s God visits each house to bring good luck and happiness, so people decorate their house with Shimekazari (decoration made with a sacred rice straw rope, pine and a mandarin) and Kadomatsu (a pair of three cut pieces of bamboo and pine with some ornaments) to welcome the God.
Like Christmas here in Australia, people in Japan spend oshogatsu with family eating and drinking and visiting relatives.
If you are going to Japan around New Year’s Day next year, we hope you will get a chance to experience these authentic traditions.