annual festivals


Japanese New Year
正月 shôgatsu

The New Year`s Days - shôgatsu = "first month of the year" - is the most important religious festival in Japan. Most people eat soba noodles the night before, hopefully to bring long life. Witnessing the first sunrise is considered very lucky. The first new days are usually family- oriented with visits to shrines and temples, where people pray for a good year and buy lucky talismans for the year ahead.

元日 ganjitsu 元旦 gantan, 新年 shinnen  =  new year`s days

- daruma = bodhidharma
- hagoita / hanetsuki
- hatsumôde = first shrine visit
- joya no kane = watch-night bell
- jûnishi = twelve zodiac
- kadomatsu = new year`s decoration
- kagami mochi = new year`s mochi
- nengajô = new year`s card
- nenshimawari
- ômisoka = new years eve
- osechi ryôri = traditional new year`s food
- otakiage = burning old new year's decoration
- otoshidama
- otoso
- shimekazari
- shimenawa = straw festoon rope
- shishimai
- takoage