New Year – the most popular holiday, it is celebrated in almost all countries of the world. However, the celebration of different peoples differs both traditions and New Year attributes. The celebration of the New Year in Japan also has its own characteristics.
Modern Japan meets New Year together with the whole world on the night of December 31 on January 1. But it was not always so. Grigorian calendar was introduced in 1873. By virtue of historical reasons, the country at that time experienced a period of large transformations of all areas of state life.
Until that time New Year in Japan in accordance with the Chinese lunar calendar accounted for one day at the beginning of spring, the date was not fixed. Calendar is observed in East Asia and nowadays. The holiday can take place any number in the segment of time dated January 21 to February 21 (the second new moon after January 21).
Restrained and hardworking in everyday life The Japanese celebrate a new year with a scope, creating a bright festive atmosphere. All around shines illumination. Almost all Country December 28 leaves for vacation until January 3. Business life freezes, the work of many state and commercial enterprises ceases. But on the streets of large and small cities there is a discovery of fairs filled with New Year souvenirs, decorations, delicacies. Trade goes Boyko, since souvenirs in Japan are presented not only to relatives. They are getting friends, clients of institutions, teachers, bosses.
Buyers often get as a gift from sellers a small animal figurine – the symbol of the approaching year.
It should be said that the tree is not a traditional symbol of the new year in the country of the Rising Sun, However, under the influence of Western traditions, such a decoration can increasingly be seen in the entrances to shops and supermarkets.
And also under the influence of foreign traditions appeared and Japanese analog of Santa Claus or Santa Claus. He is called Obi-San. The character becomes popular, it can be found in crowded places, at entertainment events in children’s institutions. It is believed that he comes at night, when the new year comes, and gives children gifts.
However, the traditional symbol – segatsu-san, dressed in green or turquoise kimono and having a long, almost to the ground, white beard. He walks on the houses of the residents during the New Year’s Eve to wish people happiness and good. Gifts to children he does not give.
Today, when the date of the holiday is constant, and the eastern calendar is no longer respected, the Japanese are nevertheless not refused their traditions. It concerns the dishes of the festive table, decorations of houses and streets, gifts, rituals.
Prepare for a large national holiday start long before his offensive. Already at the end of November, they begin to decorate streets and dwellings. In the multicolored decoration the main color is red.
It is very important to celebrate the coming year in purity, so that together with the mud, the problem from the previous year did not move to the new. The Japanese are known for their cleanness, and in their homes is always removed. However, in accordance with the ancient tradition, on December 13, they commit susu. This is a ritual, during which general cleaning is carried out, because it will be lucky in a clean housing. All items in the house are clean, all unnecessary emit. Wash off dirt and walls of houses, roads and sidewalks, monuments with water and soap.
After that, the entrance to the house is placed Kadomatsu. This is a decoration, for the manufacture of which is used pine, plum and bamboo. They are gossipped with rope rice straw. Mandarins, fern branches, bunches of algae. As a rule, decorations are installed on both sides of the entrance door.
According to believe, evil spirits are afraid of Family. Inside the room in secluded places are hamami – wubble from various kinds of trouble and dangers. It is arrows who have a blurred tip and white plumage.
Immediately before the celebration The Japanese take a shower and perfect in offro (Traditional Japanese bath), in which the warm mineral water is poured. But not only the body and the house should be clean, but also the soul. Therefore, people try to return all debts and settle all disputes, if any, pay all accounts. Negative emotions should stay in the past. As well as in the last days of the outgoing year, the indigenous people pray and reflect on those actions that committed over the year.
An important part of the preparation for the holiday is Writing greeting cards. They are customary to send relatives, friends, familiar. Therefore, the mail is the only organization that has a lot of work during a nationwide holiday.
How to celebrate?
New Year in Japan meet in a quiet family circle. Usually close people are going to celebrations. They decorate the house, preparing national dishes. Although modern Japanese wear European clothes, more suitable for everyday life in high rhythm, the new year is an excellent reason to fit in beautiful kimono.
Family meal takes place at home. It is carried out for calm conversations, no noise and drinking songs. Meal does not last long, after bells of bells from Buddhist temples, who argued about the arrival of the new year, people lay down to sleep. Young people can go out for festive streets to see quite modern salute.
In the first morning after a festive dinner, the Japanese read New Year’s greeting cards that are very much. The second half of the day takes place in visits to relatives and friends to wish them happiness and success in the coming year. Do not warn in advance about visits. Visits are very brief, often only leave business cards in a special place.
Japanese are not too religious. However, according to the National Calendar, January is considered a friendly month, in which it is necessary to give the beginning of new cases and achievements. therefore Weekends are devoted to the first year visit to the temple. And also on January 2, ordinary citizens congratulate the imperial family.
Besides, In different regions of the country there are own festivals, dedicated to the New Year’s vacation. For example, the Firefighter Festival, which takes place in Tokyo and other cities.
The origin of the parade has deep historical roots. Today it is a bright sight, during which a demonstration of achievements occurs, showing unique tricks.
New Year decoration
After general cleaning, the Japanese are starting to decorate their homes. Although the main tradition is Installation of Kazometha, Some Japanese prefer to use rope rice straw, which twisted and decorated with tangerines and fern. It also walked from evil forces and guaranteeing a portion of happiness and health. Obereg is usually placed between the Gasoman over the entrance door. It is often supplemented with a harness made of straw twisted in a circle. As additional decorations use strips of paper, fruits, beams of straw and even seafood.
Jewelry can be bought at the fair or in the store, as well as they often make them.
Interior decoration of the room is Motiban. Make decor from branches of willow and bamboo, it hangs color figures from Moti (balls, flowers, fish, fruit). Traditionally they painted in pink, green, white and yellow colors. At the end of the holiday, family members eaten figures. The number of eaten figures depends on the number of years.
On the gate usually placed decorations of pine branches. Sometimes they are complemented by straws, fern, bamboo, plum. And also there are white strips of paper, which are folded on a special sample. Magic power is attributed to decorations, they symbolize various deities that guard the house and its inhabitants.
The Japanese do not differ in voiced, this is the nation of incomplete people. New Year’s table is not too abundant. It has traditional national seafood dishes, rice and vegetables. Dishes have a symbolic meaning: they are identified with the involvement of good luck, prosperity and good health. In different regions, the composition of products may be different.
Most of the products have a sweet or sour taste, many dried foods, they are not necessarily stored in the refrigerator. The fact is that earlier, by tradition on New Year’s days, the hostess should not have been cooking, and the dishes were prepared in advance. Today festive sets for the New Year’s table – Ostei – you can buy in the store. Products are packed in a beautiful box and are strata. In boxes you can detect shrimps, dried sardines in soy sauce, boiled algae, butat and chestnuts, fish cake.
Before taking food, it is customary to drink a ceremonial drink made through an ancient recipe from sake on medicinal herbs. Mandatory on the table will be Motion dish – a special type of test, on the manufacture of which is the adiput of the adhesive rice. In the process of cooking his taste becomes sweet. Traditional are solid loaves from Moti. They are roasted on fire, lowered into the water, and then sprinkle with sugar with soil flour with a thin layer. Eat the moth for the new year means to attract luck to your side.
In the morning of the first day of the New Year, the Japanese eat Dzony Soup. It is prepared from Moti with the addition of vegetables. And also make up the symbolic decoration, which is considered to be an offer to the gods. It looks like a three-layer pyramid.
Pyramid stands until January 11, then they disassemble it, the tortillas are cleared and prepare from them to chow.
What is given?
The traditions of the gift of New Year’s gifts differ significantly from existing in other countries. First of all, it is obligatory to send friends, relatives and familiar greeting cards. There are rules, as and when to send them, and the scrupulous Japanese strictly observe them. For example, the postcard is not sent to the family in which the death of a loved one in the outgoing year.
Acceptable is considered to congratulate colleagues. In this case, souvenirs will be symbolic and equivalent. For the chief, the gift is selected more serious. Cosmetic sets, souvenir national products, small things, products can be presented as a gift.
It is interesting to note that Japanese consider products a very good gift. It can be beer, coffee, canned. On the eve of the New Year, stores provide a wide range of festive food sets in beautiful packaging. Sweets, as a rule, do not give. Japanese will be happy if you get MOT. But it should be a gift option made by hand.
Do not give a rake. Their owner of the house will surely buy himself according to his taste.
Children in the family, of course, can wait for New Year’s gift. But Tradition prescribes to give them money. Money children get in an decorated envelope called Potibukuro. The amount of the amount is determined by the child’s age. But if in the family is not one child, but a few, then they usually get the same amounts.
As well as In Japan, there is an interesting practice: in the first days of January, shops sell gift sets in sealed packages or boxes. Although buyers do not know that they are in them, sets are popular, as the price of a set is often less than the amount of the cost of individual products in the set.
Traditions and customs
With the celebration of the New Year in Japan a lot is connected Specific customs. Each attribute has its own symbolic meaning. For example, the indispensable component of the holiday – Kumade, which is sold absolutely all souvenir shops and temples. This is a bamboo rake, which are needed in the fall for the cracking of fallen leaves. Kumade literally means “paw bear”. People buy such rake-souvenirs, as it is believed that they contribute to the “swallow” of happiness, success, wealth. Rake small size (approximately 15 cm), they are often decorated with drawings and talismans.
It is impossible to submit a New Year’s Japanese house without special decoration: wood. A tree, which is called Fitoman, can be not only at the main entrance, but also indoors.
Festive night is also filled with symbolic meaning. At midnight, the Japanese hear 108 bell strikes. These sounds are heard in every home, because they call all the bells in the country at the same time. Each new hit means the care of human vices. The number is chosen not accident. In Buddhist belief, it is considered the number of such desires followed by pain and suffering. During the ritual, people laugh, as he symbolizes the beginning of a new life.
Among other attributes are purchased Takaralau. It is a mascot in the shape of a boat, inside of which there are rice and valuable gifts. On the boat 7 figures: deities, symbolizing happiness and well-being.
On New Year’s Eve, the talisman is put under the pillow. From dreams you can find out what significant events will occur in the coming year.
About how the New Year celebrates in Japan, look in the following video.