Traditions of the New year in Japan
Japan is known for its abundance of tradition, here and new year’s holidays was not an exception. Want to know what are the traditions of New year in Japan happened in the past and have now? Then please read on.
Honored traditions of Japan’s past
New year looking forward and honored in Japan. It is a celebration of the holidays, although we can not say that it is celebrated noisily and in a big way. Such intensity not characteristic of the inhabitants of the land of the Rising Sun. Everything happens simply and modestly. The Japanese have learned and European customs of the New year – to celebrate the holiday on the night of 31 December to first of January, but they hold sacred their ancient traditions .
The main attribute of the Japanese New year is kadomatsu – “pine at the entrance”. The Japanese way to welcome the deity of the New year Toshigami. Also the Japanese be sure to pull the rope in front of the house. They believe that the evil spirit will not be able to enter their home and harm them. Keep the well-being of the house of arrows Hama, which detailed the Japanese are reserved in advance.
At 12 am start to ring the bells of the temples. Velvet sounds from the bell remove a thick heavy bar, suspended by ropes or chains horizontally. Attacks must be exactly 108, as it is a symbolic number. In Japan it is believed that man has a 6 vices, indecision, stupidity, greed, malice, greed and lightheadedness. Each defect has 18 shades. With each stroke of the bell men are freed from all evil and to celebrate the New year with a clean and a renewed soul. Immediately after midnight, the Japanese go to bed. They will have to Wake up before dawn to greet the new day together waking up with the sun. All together take to the streets and congratulate each other on the occasion.
The first day of the New year
January 1 (ganjitsu) all Japanese people sit down at a meal, with family to enjoy delicious dishes, raise a Cup of sake. Although the menu is festive, but by European standards quite modest. On the table should be round loaves of bread from rice. They symbolize wealth and luck, happiness and a good harvest in the coming year. Also on the table are balls of shredded fish with black beans, dried anchovies in soy sauce, herring caviar, steamed vegetables. For dessert the chestnut puree or sweetened omelet of minced fish. The Japanese eat a low table, sitting around on his lap. Festive meal passes quietly, sedately, without the noise and songs. The Japanese are not distracted from thoughts of a beautiful future.
The Japanese decorate their houses on New year bamboo or willow flowers, on which hang small rolls of mochi in the shape of flowers, fruits, fish. All this is painted in yellow, pink and green and hung at the entrance to the house or is placed in the most conspicuous place.
Fun and games for the New year
The Japanese New year love fly kites and tops, playing shuttlecock and cards with poems, to play the game similar to our backgammon. In stores and shops you can buy a variety of Souvenirs and talismans, where to buy bamboo rake to “rake” happiness. On New year’s day, the Japanese give each other coins, which are accompanied by white envelopes with more significant sums, the symbol of the New year – a clay, plastic or paper.
Japanese in large numbers to send greeting cards. But not bright and colorful and simple and homely in the form of postcards. Each card has a number and is, besides, a lottery ticket. The more cards will be given to a resident of Japan, the more chance he has to win something interesting.
New year in Japan is a fusion of ancient traditions and modern habits. The Japanese and the magistrates carry out all the customs, ward off evil spirits, eating traditional food, but it does not prevent them to push in supermarkets, home decorating Western memorabilia, visit total sales and drive just a little, but a holiday abroad. On holidays the inhabitants of the country of the Rising Sun, laugh a lot, because we believe that laughter brings good luck in the new year.