New Years

あけましておめでとうございます = Happy New Years

Japanese New Year (oshogatsu) is perhaps the most important holiday celebrated in Japan. From January 1-3 people get time off work and school to spend time together with their families. New Years is seen as a new start and is why people spend the days before New Years cleaning house. It is best to spend January 1st without stress or anger, and with happiness and joy as it is said to be a representative of how the whole year will play out.

It is tradition to visit a shrine or temple, and during the oshogatsu period some temples receive at least several millions of people. As with many Japanese traditions, food also plays a big role. Special food prepared for the New Years is called osechi-ryouri, which consist of a variety of dishes each symbol for the celebration of the new year.