News and SocietyCulture

Traditions of celebrating the New Year in Japan (photo)

New Year in Japan is an annual festival with its own customs. This holiday is celebrated from 1873 on the Gregorian calendar on January 1 of each year.

Traditions of celebrating the New Year in Japan

Photo kadomatsu (traditional New Year's decoration) is presented a little higher. At the beginning of each year in Japan, you can observe a lot of traditions. For example, the entrance to the houses and shops is decorated with pine or bamboo decorations or with straw-woven straw ropes of Siemenav (the origins of this custom are the Shinto religion). At this time of year, the Japanese cook and eat mochi, soft rice cakes and oschi-ryori. This is a traditional meal, which they associate with the holiday. The traditions of celebrating the New Year in Japan include the rituals of thanksgiving for a good harvest, which have developed over many centuries by peasants, mostly engaged in agriculture, as well as ancient religious ceremonies. All this has a special meaning.

See off the old year. Traditions of the New Year in Japan

Pictures and huge posters, as well as kites can be found in many shopping centers (pictured). No doubt December 31 is a very important day for the Japanese. Not surprisingly, many people on the occasion of the holiday do not sleep all night. Until now, many traditions of celebrating the New Year in Japan have been preserved, but the most famous custom dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868). This is cooking buckwheat noodles (soba). On December 31, the Japanese eat this product at lunch or in the evening as a light snack, so that their life is as long as this thin and long noodle. However, there is a colt after midnight is considered a bad sign, because the Japanese believe that this can bring bad luck in the house. With the approach of the New Year, the air around is filled with the sound of church bells, which ring 108 times in the last moments of the day. One of the explanations of the bell ringing is the renunciation of 108 human desires and passions. In some churches, ordinary people are allowed to participate in this ceremony.

The first rays of the sun - the first prayer in the new year

In Japan, it is believed that the first rays of the rising sun on the first day of the new year have magical power. Prayer at this time is a special phenomenon, and it is very popular since the Meiji era (1868-1912). Even today, crowds of people climb mountains or seashores, from where the sunrise is clearly visible, to pray for health and family well-being in the new year. Another custom, which has survived until now, is a visit to a church or a church. Even those people who do not usually go to churches or temples in the New Year give time to pray for health and a happy family life. For women, this is also a unique opportunity to dress in a bright colorful kimono, and the atmosphere becomes even more festive.

Festive New Year's Eve Ceremony

The tradition of celebrating the New Year in Japan continues with the decoration of cities "from within and without." For several days after Christmas, the entrance doors to the buildings and shops in Japan are decorated with pine and bamboo branches. This custom is carried out for the glorification of Shinto gods, since, according to the belief, the spirits of the gods live in trees. In addition, pine jewelry, which remains green even in winter, and bamboo that grows quickly and straight, symbolize strength that helps overcome many adversities. The entrance to the ordinary houses is decorated with a woven straw rope from Simenava. This symbolizes that the house is clean and free to greet spirits and gods.

Traditional dishes

After the New Year's bells ring and the first visit to the church or church is made, many people return home to enjoy traditional food with their families. Such food is called o-suichi. Initially, these dishes were intended for offerings to Shinto gods, but it is also a "happy meal" that brings well-being to families. Each of the ingredients is of particular importance, and the dishes are cooked so that they can remain fresh and not deteriorate during all New Year's holidays, which last about a week.


Another tradition of celebrating the New Year in Japan - the preparation of rice motifs. Boiled glutinous rice is placed in wooden containers, similar to baskets. One person pours it with water, and another beats with a large wooden mallet. After mashing, the rice forms a sticky white mass. Moti is prepared in advance, before the New Year, and eat in early January.


The end of December and the beginning of January are the most stressful time for Japanese postal services. In Japan, there is a tradition to send greeting Christmas cards to friends and relatives, similar to the Western custom of giving them for Christmas. Their original purpose was to give your distant friends and relatives news about yourself and your family. In other words, this custom existed to tell those people whom you see infrequently, that you are alive and well. The Japanese try to send postcards so that they arrive on January 1. Postal service employees guarantee that greeting cards will be delivered on January 1, if they were sent between the middle and the end of December and are marked with the word nengaj. To deliver all messages on time, postal services usually hire students on a part-time basis.

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

Beethoven's ninth symphony with choral accompaniment is the tradition of the New Year season in Japan. So, in December 2009 in the Land of the Rising Sun this work was presented in 55 versions of leading orchestras.

Books about the New Year in Japan

Now you can find quite a lot of books and articles about the tradition of celebrating the New Year in Japan in English, Russian, Japanese, French, German and other languages. The country of the rising sun has always provoked interest with its originality and uniqueness. So, the book revealing the tradition of celebrating the New Year in Japan, in English under the title The Japanese New Year's festival, games and pastimes of the author Helen Cowen Gunsaulus contains a small in volume, but quite capacious essay on this vast topic. Those who are fluent in foreign languages, it will be interesting to look at the world of Japanese culture through the eyes of a resident of America or some other country. The recommended book immerses readers in the world of the tradition of celebrating the New Year in Japan in English. The translation can be found on the Internet in the mode of electronic libraries. This topic is quite interesting and extensive. And it is even better to go on a trip to Japan and see with your own eyes how a high-tech industrial country with huge megacities and skyscrapers during the holiday as if returning to the past, paying tribute to the traditions. This is truly a unique phenomenon in modern culture.

Similar articles





Trending Now






Copyright © 2018 Theme powered by WordPress.