How is New Year celebrated in Japan" Find out more about this annual festival celebrated in Japan as we talk about the foods, traditions and various customs observed during the holidays.
Japanese New Year
It’s called shogatsu or oshogatsu (???) and it is the most important holiday in Japan. Since 1873 in the Meiji era, the official Japanese New Year has been celebrated on January 1st due to western influence, instead of the New Year based on Lunar Calendar (Chinese New Year). This annual festival comes with many traditions and customs, and each observation is imbued with special meaning.
To usher in new beginnings, I am excited to share with you how the Japanese people bid farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year.
How the Japanese celebrate New Year – Foods, Customs & Traditions
December – Shiwasu
December is also called Shiwasu (??) in Japanese, and the kanji (the written word) literally means “masters/teachers run”. It basically implies that December is so busy that even self-composed masters/teachers are on the run.
At the end of the year, people send out gifts called Oseibo (???) to their managers, customers, and teachers to express appreciation for the whole year. Popular gift items also include fresh food (seafood, meat, and fruits), condiments, beer, tea/coffee, canned foods, desserts, and gift certificates.
Before the companies shut down from the last week of the year to the first week of New Year, there are a lot of year-end parties called Bonenkai (???), which means “forget-the-year party”, with colleagues and bosses.
During the last few days of December, people meticulously clean their homes, offices, and businesses from top-to-bottom. This annual tradition is called Osoji (???), “the big cleaning”. We believe it’s important to eliminate the dust, dirt, and clutter from the passing year and to welcome the New Year with a clean and fresh emotional state.
By katorisi [GF...