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Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Happy New Year!

New Year (shogatsu or oshogatsu) is the most important holiday in Japan. Most businesses shut down from January 1 to January 3 (Sanganichi), and families typically gather to spend the days together.
We start to prepare for coming new year's day a couple of days before. We clean our house, office and car and get rid of all dust and mess from present year.
I do laundry all day 12/31. I don't like to bring dirty clothes to new year's day.

We have to eat Soba on New Year's Eve. It is called "Toshikoshi soba"= Over the year noodle.
It has meaning --- If we eat long noodles, we can get a long life. So it takes "Good Luck" from long. It is a funny reason to eat noodles, but I do follow it every year.

We cook special foods for the New Year. This also "Good Luck" for our year!

Please read these links!

I don't make those foods any more. I make certain foods that I like.
I put sushi into a three layered box. I keep my country's traditional ways to a minimum!
I want to wear my kimono every year. These is no way I can wear my kimono on new year's day every year. I wake up late morning and I start preparing food for everybody and I get too full. I can't move. No way to wear my kimono!

We play card games with family. We watch special TV shows all day long. We go to Shinto shrines (Jinja) and pray for our Good Luck during the year. We buy "Omikuji" (It tells your fortune) and read it!
Oops! It is a scared moment when you open it.

We send New Year's postcards (Nengajo). We wake up and go to our mail box first thing in the morning. There are a bunch of postcards. I used to divide them into Dad's, Mom's and mine. Whenever I got a lot of them, it made me happy! Most of them are hand made. Everybody makes the image of the year of the zodiac animal sign in their own way. It is like a creativity competition. Use your talents once in a year.

Please check Hoodie's 2008 New Year's postcard!

I love GOOD LUCK! We all get GOOD LUCK! in 2008