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Japanese New Year

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Japanese New Year (Traditions, Food, Decoration, Soup, Is Chinese And Japanese New Year Same, Clothing, Desserts). New Year’s celebrations are one of the important festivals in Japan and are closely related to beliefs of purification and renewal. The Japanese New Year celebration is termed shogatsu, and New Year’s Day is termed gantan.

Japanese New Year (Traditions, Food, Decoration, Soup, Is Chinese And Japanese New Year Same, Clothing, Desserts)
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Japanese New Year (Traditions, Food, Decoration, Soup, Is Chinese And Japanese New Year Same, Clothing, Desserts)

Japan has celebrated New Year’s Day on one January since it adopted the New calendar in 1873. Before that, the country celebrated New Year and supported the temporal order of lunar cycles. Oshogatsu is well known on January one and lasts 3 days. The word itself suggests the ‘first 3 days of the year’.

Colleges close up for 2 weeks over this period and most businesses shut down from 30th December to 3rd January. Shinto – is one of the 2 main religious practices in Japan with Buddhism. As we see in history it is believed that Kami (gods) visit people’s homes on New Year’s Day, therefore it’s necessary to have a clean place in order to show over a new state and to possess a blessed and prosperous year.


January 1 may be a nice time to celebrate the end of a year and the start of another year. For many, there are many traditions related to the New Year they celebrate. In Japan, there also are customs and traditions related to the New Year. Here are simply explained many of them:

Deep Cleanup

In Japanese culture, the New Year should begin with a cleanup. As a result, Japanese people sometimes partake in one thing referred to as oosouji, or “big cleanup.” Many times, each of the houses is cleaned, with places that are stayed untouched at other times of the year.

Eating Traditional Food

Another huge tradition in Japanese culture is uptake foods, Toshikoshi soba is on the eve of traditional New Year, whereas ozoni and osechi are enjoyed on a particular day of.


On January 1, there’s a practice of handing a small amount of cash in an envelope to the youngsters. It always is not much, however, it’s one thing children in Japan look forward to.


Another fun which is very little tradition is to travel out and buy fukubukuro on Januubukuro. It is surprised luggage that several retailers sell at completely different points, that individuals take while not knowing what is in it.


One of the additional traditions for January 1customs is Hatsumode, or the first shrine visit of the New Year. Many folks move to visit a shrine on January 2nd, or 3rd, so as to pay their respects and to wish for a blessed and healthy year.


To celebrate the coming blessing of the New Year, Japanese folks eat special dishes on New Year’s Eve and Day. The foods consumed for New sparking New Year’s are referred to as osechi ryori, which suggests “New Year’s food.” These foods are usually served in an exceedingly layer bento named as jubako and enjoyed with family and friends.

Osechi Ryori

Osechi Ryori is a traditional food enjoyed on New Year’s Day in Japan. They are available in an assortment of colorful dishes packed along in special boxes termed jubako, that is bento boxes. Each dish of traditional foods symbolizes a special that means welcome to the New Year.

Similar to bento boxes, Osechi Ryori is sometimes packed in 2-3 layers of lacquer boxes (ojubako), and there are several dishes in every layer. The complete family would share one ojubako to get pleasure from New Year’s Day. The multi-tiered boxes symbolize the hope for happiness and wealth to come back, just like the layers of lacquerware.

Toshikoshi Soba

Toshikoshi soba may be a savory New Year’s noodle bowl dish. Soba noodles are made up of buckwheat, which is what offers them their warm brownish color. Toshikoshi soba is termed as a “year-crossing noodle,”. The long length of the noodle represents long negativity whereas the convenience of cutting the noodles signifies taking off any negativity or hardship from the previous year.


Mochi is an insanely well-liked Japanese dish. tho’ it may be enjoyed the year, mochi is a very important part of celebrating the New Year in Japan.

The word mochi feels like the Japanese term for “to have” or “to hold,” and then uptake mochi is alleged to assist you to win good luck throughout the New Year. January 1 kinako mochi is covered in cooked soybean powder.


Towards the end of the Gregorian calendar, you may see pine, bamboo, and rope-like decorations adorning homes, stores, and alternative buildings to welcome the New Year in Japan.

These decorations have roots in Shinto, the belief of the Japanese and are meant to start the New Year gods (toshigami) which can then bestow a bountiful harvest to farmers and ancestral blessings to the family.

As Japan was traditionally a farming country, prosperity and an honest harvest were tied to winning the favors of the gods. But walk by virtually any building or place in Japan around the New Year days and you’ll see similar decorations to start good luck and prosperity.


Kadomatsu is one of the New Year decorations made from pine and bamboo sprigs, placed in pairs (representing male and female) ahead of homes to welcome the Shinto gods. They’re derived from the Shinto belief that divine spirits reside in trees. As evergreens, pine trees symbolize strength amidst adversity and therefore the component of luck. Bamboo sprouts quickly and ramrod-straight, therefore it additionally stands for strength and overcoming adversity.

Shime-Nawa and Shime-Kazari

Shime-Nawa ( virtually “enclosing ropes”) is decorated with straw ropes used for ritual purification within the Shinto faith.

Amaterasu and the Cave

According to, shime-Nawa adorned ropes trace their roots to Amaterasu, a significant spiritual being in Shinto, the divinity of the sun and therefore the universe. There’s a far-famed story about Amaterasu and therefore the cave that is alleged to clarify the origin of shime-nawa.

Is Chinese and Japanese New Year Same

Though the Japanese New Year does not go with the Chinese Spring occasion, Japan still uses a 12-year zodiac that’s just like the Chinese zodiac, and lots of and lots of the New Year’s Day zodiac animal.

In 1873, as a part of the Meiji Restoration, Japan adopted the New Style calendar to bring the country in line with the West. At that point, the prevailing behavior among several Japanese elites was that Asian practices were inferior to Western ones, and would hold Japan back unless they were starting practice .

But once the Meiji government set to adopt the New Style calendar, they merely superimposed lunisolar calendar events onto the new calendar rather than properly changing the dates. Thus, Ganjitsu, the first day of the year, fell on the Gregorian calendar , the first day of the New Style calendar year, making a one month delay between Japan’s New Year’s celebrations and people of its neighbors like China and Korean Peninsula.

In distinction, China adopted a dual-calendar policy in 1912, whereby the New Style calendar was used for everything except setting traditional holidays that were regular with the Chinese calendar. Today, Mainland, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam all use similar systems.


The New Year is welcomed by the food of year-crossing noodles (Toshi Koshi-soba). Casual western vogue wear is replaced with kimono on New Years’ day as people went for their first temple or shrine visit of the New Year (hatsumode). At the temples, they pray for health and happiness within the returning year. There are various varieties and designs of kimonos and the variety of styles and colors of kimono are chosen according to the occasion, the person’s age, and status.

A kimono is traditionally crafted from handwoven and hand-decorated materials, together with linen, silk, and hemp. Materials like polyester, cotton, and fabric are usually used these days. Decoration techniques are embroidery, painting, and coloring.

Men’s kimonos sometimes have a lot of subdued colors than women’s kimonos, which are usually a lot more colorful and have lovely made patterns. A women’s kimono is in the middle of a good belt referred to as obi, which is usually a chunk of art in itself with beautiful patterns and colors. There are varied techniques for fastening an obi and creating a bow.


While the Japanese are not generally glorious for sweets, they were creating them well before sugar was introduced to the country. Sweets were usually made from ingredients like barmy, fruit, Anko (sweet azuki bean paste), and mochi (sticky rice cakes). Japanese desserts are enjoyed after the end of the meal with the tea which makes a tasteful end.

Anmitsu may be a Japanese frozen dessert, created from agar jelly. The agar is melted in water or drink to make the gelatin. It is served within the bowl with Anko, peas, and a range of fruits like peaches, pineapples, cherries, and satsuma orange, Mochi, ice cream, and nontraditional fruits like strawberries can even be served in a bowl.

Daifuku may be a wagashi course made from mochi balls, filled with Anko. They’re coated in corn or potato starch to keep them together and are around 3 centimeters, or to the size of your palm. Many sorts exist. totally different fillings like strawberries, sweet cream, apricot jam, pureed chestnuts, and recently, coffee-flavored filling or custard.

Dorayaki is Anko paste between double castella pancakes. Castella may be a form of cake that was brought to Japan from Portugal within the sixteenth century. A modern version of dorayaki has Nutella between the 2 pancakes.

Read also: Assyrian New Year; Russian New Year; Thai New Year

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