Thursday, January 1, 2015

お正月(しょうがつ) Oshōgatsu New Year’s Day

<正月(しょうがつ) Oshōgatsu New Year’s Day>


Do you know how Japanese people celebrate their New Year’s Day?
New Year’s Day is the most important holiday in Japan. Many special events
take place during the first three days.

Hatsumōde---Many people go to the shrine and temples wishing for the good
Fortune and good luck during the year ahead.

 People eat special food called Osechi ryōri (New Year’s special food)
   Osechi ryōri are beautifully arranged in the lacquer box called Jubako.
Each dish has some special meanings.


 Kuromame (black beans) 
    —working hard and become healthy.


Datemaki( egg omelet)
Because the shape looks like a scroll, it is
associated with scholarship.

   Kinton (sweet potatoes and chestnuts)
the word ‘kinton’ means golden dumplings, and the color looks like a gold.
    It is associated with treasure.

   Kobumaki (dried herring wrapped in seaweed)
the word ‘kobu’ means to be happy.

Tazukuri (dried sardines)
In ancient times, dried sardines were used for fertilizer for the rice field.
    Also Tazukuri literally translates as ‘making rice corps’. It is associated with
    Good harvest.

(かず)()--- 子宝(こだから)(めぐ)まれます。
    Kazunoko (herring roe)
        Herring roe contains a lot of eggs and the word ‘kazu’ means number and ‘ko’ means children. That means you are blessed with many children.


海老(えび)---- (なが)()きられます
      Because the shape of curved body, it is associated with longevity. Because when
people get older, their bodies are hunchbacked.

 Ozōni is a special soup eaten on New Year’s Day. Ingredients for Ozōni differ from region to region.

  関東(かんとう)Kanto style (clear soup) 

関西(かんさい) Kansai(white miso soup)

    We receive New Year’s Cards on New Year’s Day. The Chinese zodiac sign of the 2015   will be the year of the sheep ‘hitsuji’. So you will exchange many nengajo like Christmas cards with the picture of the sheep.


   We have placed ‘kadomatsu’ in pairs in front of houses to welcome year God and
      displayed ‘Kagamimochi’ for the offering to Year God.

 鏡餅(かがみもち) (かたち)(かがみ)()います。
 kagamimochi/mirror rice cake
The round shape looks like a mirror.

 Kadomatsu/pine decorations 

 Thank you for everything you did for us this past year.
Please have a good new year!

---- by Yada-sensei

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