Oshogatsu, a Japanese New Years Tradition

New Year celebration in Japan is a very important holiday and is steep in tradition that goes back hundreds of years. Japanese call the New Year, Oshogatsu, お正月 (おしょうがつ – oshōgatsu). Today, New Year is celebrated on January 1, but before 1873, the Japanese observed the New Year according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

Some of these traditions still observed today, include bell ringing.  A few minutes before midnight on December 31, New Years Eve, Buddhist temples all over Japan will start ringing their bells.  This bell ringing will continue into the early hours of January 1, until a total of 108 bells are rung.  This symbolizes the 108 human sins according to Buddhists belief and ringing these bells rids worldly desires and sins during the previous year.  On January 1, millions of Japanese visit shrines or temples, this observation is called Hatsumode 初詣 (はつもうで – hatsumōde).  While at the temple the Japanese offer up a prayer, usually for good health and good fortune.  It is also customary to eat  おせち料理 (おせちりょうり – osechi ryōri) see Mark’s no recipes post about the traditional foods.

Children also look forward to otoshidama, a tradition in which money is given to kids a decorated envelope.

picture source: punipunijapan.com

punipunijapan shares other Japanese traditions see below:

Another tradition is sending New Year’s cards called年賀状 (ねんがじょう – nengajō) to friends and family to wish them a happy New Year.

Happy New Year in Japanese is 明けましておめでとうございます (akemashite omedetō gozaimasu)

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Mochitsuki Neko New Year’s Decoration

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Kadomatsu New Year’s Decoration

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Kagami Mochi New Years Decoration

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New Years Calendars from Japan

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New Years Jubako Lacquered Boxes

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Please see Marks No recipes for more interesting recipes guide http://norecipes.com/blog/osechi-ryori-japanese-new-years-food/

 

4 responses to “Oshogatsu, a Japanese New Years Tradition

  1. Pingback: Ozoni “Japanese New Years Soup” recipe | ionasiatrend

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  3. Pingback: Happy New Year from Japan | go mama o

  4. Pingback: Akemashite omedetōgozaimasu | peakmemory

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