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Japanese New Year

Japanese New Year LearningMole

Japanese New Year, or “Shogatsu,” is one of the most significant and heartfelt celebrations in Japan, typically observed from January 1st to 3rd. This holiday is rich in traditions and customs that focus on welcoming the new year with positivity and joy. It’s a time for families to come together, partake in special foods known as “osechi-ryori,” which are beautifully arranged in lacquered boxes and symbolize good health, prosperity, and happiness for the coming year. Homes are decorated with “kadomatsu” (pine decorations) and “shimenawa” (sacred straw rope), to invite good spirits and fortune. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, temple bells ring out 108 times to cleanse the 108 worldly desires. People also visit shrines or temples for “hatsumode,” the first shrine visit of the year, to pray for good fortune. Japanese New Year is a blend of joyous celebration and serene reflection, offering a unique insight into Japan’s rich cultural heritage and the value of family and community in their traditions.