Japanese Oshogatsu, New Year

How do the Japanese celebrate the Japanese New Year? We have rich customs and traditions to spend this festive holiday.
Oshogatsu (お正月), the New Year period is one of the most important holidays of the year for us, because we welcome and celebrate the Toshigami-sama deities that were our ancestors. People in the old days thought that the spilit of ancestors became the deities of rice fields and mountains and they visit us to see their descendants’ prosperity in Oshogatsu.

Starting off the New Year, we have a party after toasting with toso (お屠蘇), New Year’s special spiced sake, with family in the morning. We eat Osechi, New Year foods which have already been cooked in the New Year Eve. Each dishes are packed together in lacquer bento boxes called jubako (重箱) in order to save the time of  housework. Each dish or ingredient has the meanings to eat. I’d like to introduce each of them, however, many  bloggers post about it and please read them. Hopefully next year(?) 

Best Wishes for a wonderful season and new year.

Japanese audio for the New Year

These songs are traditional Japanese ohayashi (お囃子) style. Although both songs are very simple ensemble with some shamisens (三味線) and percussions, it sounds like fun, party and festival mood. Whenever I listen this ohayashi, I feel like drinking sake.

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