New Year in Japan 日本の正月

japanese new year Jan 09, 2022



Happy New Year! In Japan, 1st to 3rd of January are called shogatsu – ‘reset month’ from 12th month (December) to 1st month (January).These three days are national holiday. Therefore, most shops are closed. Many people visit their family and relatives for the new year greetings.


Do you think Japanese people have an exciting new year with countdown and fireworks? Traditionally, the bell is rung 108 times at Buddhist is said that people have 108 destructive emotions such as greed and anger and you can remove them. It is nice to welcome new year after purifying your mind.


On shogatsu, we celebrate by saying Akemashite omedetogozaimsu (Congratulations for the  newly started year!) Also, we say Kotoshimo yoroshiku onegaishimasu (I request our good relationship this year too.) in order to reset the old relationship. What kind of greeting do you have in our country?


Many people go out in the early morning to see the first sunrise of the year on the 1st January. We make a wish to the first sunrise with appreciation, because we believe a good start of the first day might bring us a good luck of the year. The most popular food on shogatsu is mochi (smashed sticky rice cake). Mochi is sticky and we want to be stick to a target and a resolution this year.

たくさんの人が神社に初もうでに行きます。新しい年がいい年になるようにお願いしたり、その年がどうなるかおみくじを引いたり、いい年になるようにお守りを買ったりします。みなさんはどう新年を迎えましたか。今年がみなさんにとって平和で実りある年になりますように。Arai Academy of Japanese Studies 代表 新井峰子

 Many people visit Shinto shrine. We make a wish for a better year, draw omikuji (fortune telling slip) and buy lucky charm. How did you celebrate the new year? I wish you have more peaceful and fruitful year in 2022. Mineko Arai  Arai Academy of Japanese Studies

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