Japanese New Year
Japanese New Year お正月
Japanese New Year is celebrated on the 1st of January. Traditionally, the Japanese would eat toshi koshi soba on New Year's Eve to wish for longevity. In addition, if time permits, Japanese would visit a shrine or temple to pay their respects to the deity and to wish for good health, prosperity, and safety for the new year. This is also known as 初詣, hatsumōde.
Whether to dress in a kimono (female version) or hakama (male version) or not is up to the person's preference. In recent years, more and more youngsters, especially females, have been dressing up in their kimonos and visiting the shrine or temple near their neighborhood to pray.
On New Year's Day, family tend to gather, mostly at their grandparents' place, and have a meal together. O-sechi ryori is often an indispensable item at the dining table. Depending on family traditions, there are different foods that are made (or store-bought) and shared among family members.
It is one of the most cherished days because family gets to catch up and spend time together.
At the Rochester Japanese School, we also share traditions and show our students what is done during New Year's day and why it is done. We also have a little celebration in school to immerse our students into the culture.