New Year in Japan 日本のお正月

The New is one of the most important holidays for the Japanese. Most Japanese rest during the first three days of the New Year and many companies and schools are closed for one week or more during this season.


しめかざり   Shimekazari

People decorate the entrance of their homes with Shimekazari (しめかざり) during the New Year’s season to ward off evil spirits.


門松かどまつ   Kadomatsu

Kadomatsu (門松かどまつ) are a pair of pine decorations which are placed in front of the gates of a residence from January 1st to the 7th, the period known as matsunouchi (まつうち).


初詣はつもうで  First visit to the Shinto Shrine

Many Japanese people visit a Shinto shrine during the first three days of January in order to make traditional New Year’s wishes for health and happiness.


おせち料理りょうり  Osechi-Ryori

Osechi-ryori (おせち料理りょうり) are specially prepared New Year’s dishes to be eaten during the first three days of January.


年賀状ねんがじょう   New Year’s Greeting Cards

People write and send post cards as New Year’s greetings in December, to be delivered on New Year’s Day.


年玉としだま    Otoshidama

During the New Year’s season, Japanese children are given small envelopes containing money called “otoshidama” by their parents and relatives making their first visit of the New year.







Posted in Annual Events and Social Life, Basic Information About Japan, History and Traditional Culture, Japanese Culture