In Japan, we will decorate a ‘Kagamimochiï¼é¡é¤ ï¼’ to our house in the New Year.Â Kagamimochi is an ornament that puts oranges on top of two rice cakes.Â By the way, the role as anÂ ornament will end on around January 10th, and rice cakes will be eaten by people.
There are usually reasons for traditional Japanese customs.Â But, I do not know the reason or origin about this.
There is a custom called “Otoshidamaï¼ãå¹´çï¼” in Japan. It is a pocket money that parents and relatives give to children in the New Year.Â At that time, we will pass the cash in an envelope called ‘Otoshidama-bukuroï¼ãå¹´çè¢ï¼’.
There is a chance of getting rich quickÂ for kids with many relatives.Â However, in many cases, parents confiscate it while saying “I will save money for your future”. Of course it does not allow children to have a lot of money, and to make money circulate among relatives.
But in the past it was a custom that gives rice cake instead of cash.
There is a custom called ‘Nengajyoï¼å¹´è³ç¶ï¼’ at new year in Japan.Â Write “å¹´è³ç¶” on the face of the postcard and put it in the post, it will be delivered to the other’s house on the morning of January 1.
Japanese people communicate with each other and their friends acquaintance who have been unable to meet easily through Nengajyo.Â Some people keep friends only by exchange of Nengajyo.
However, this old-fashioned interaction is also getting ruined in recent years, because we can be easily contacted by SNS etc.
Osechi-ryouri is a traditional food to eat in the New Year.
In past Japan, there was a tradition that three days of New Year did not cook.Â For that reason, Japanese prepare side dish to be kept at the end of the previous year and packed it in a stackable box called “Jubakoï¼éç®±ï¼”. In the New Year, we ate it with the whole family.Â Incidentally, rice is not packed in the box. We will prepare rice separately.
However, that custom is getting ruined. In the past, every shops were closed on New Year’s days, but now the New Year’s business has become commonplace and it is no longer necessary to prepare food.
Also, it takes time and effort to make traditional Osechi-ryouri. It was possible when many women were full-time housewives, but now it got harder.
The New Year ‘s classic greeting is “Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasuï¼ããã¾ãã¦ããã§ã¨ããããã¾ãï¼”. In English it is translated as “A happy new year”, but if literal translation it is nuance like “Congraturationsm, because the year has come”.
In the past when Japan was not rich, people’s lives were not easy and the average life expectancy was short, so our ancestors celebrated that the New Year was came.
By the way, the New Year in 1989 was silenced by the TV program on the word “congratulations”, because the former emperor was fighting ill.