Japanese Have a Party on New Year’s Eve?
It is very important for Japanese to celebrate New Year’s Day. There are various ways to celebrate new year’s day in the world: going to the Times Square, eating grapes or jumping with joy. I would like you to know how Japanese spend new year’s eve and the cultural background. Japanese have a lot of things to do for New Year’s celebration! Let’s take a look.
■Clean up your house before having a new Year’s Day!
It is considered that a good fortune come to your place on new year’s day and people do a housecleaning before the end of the year so that Mr./Ms.Good Fortune can come to our house. If your place is dusty, they don’t want to visit you. People tend to clean their houses more carefully than usual at the end of December. It is a preparation for having a happy new year by remove all the dirty things of the year and welcome a good fortune. Many companies or schools also have a cleaning day at the end of their work before they go to winter break.
■What is popular foods on New Year’s Eve?
We eat Soba noodles on New Year’s eve. One of the reason is that soba noodles is easy to cut compared to other noodles and it means that you can cut off your misfortunes of the year. Also, the shape of the soba noodle is thin and long. People in old times thought eating soba noodles enable us to live long as the shape of it. When you know the meaning why Japanese people eat a certain food on a certain day, you might understand cultural background easily, and vice versa. I will explain more about relationship between Japanese food and Japanese culture next time!! (“OSECHI” that Japanese eat on New Years day.)
■Where is a popular place to go on new year’s eve?
When you go out on New Years eve, you will find that people make a long queue at a temple. We go to temple to ring a bell. The custom is influenced by Buddhism that says the new year’s eve bell cast away all the evil passions in our mind. Now, although the religious background is not the main reason, many people go to temples for ringing the new year’s bell. People reflect their behaviors of that year and make their wishes for a new year. People also walk around the street and enjoy hot drinks or foods at food stands like a summer festival. Even if it is very cold outside, people enjoy going to those places with family, friends or their partners.
■What are people waiting for in the early morning of January 1st?
Some people go to seashore or mountains to see the first sunrise of the year. On this day, some public transportations run to help people go out at midnight. (We have to say thank you to those people who work at that time.)
It is early in the morning and still we have a lot of things to do on the first day of the year. I cannot sleep before I complete all the events that happens on New Years day!!
These are just some examples of how Japanese people spend new year’s eve.
How do you spend the new year’s eve in your country?