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New Year in Japan 1 - Cleaning & Toshikoshi Soba

Merry Christmas!
…and the next thing to think about is the coming year :)

new-year

In Japanese, New Year’s Eve is called Ohmisoka (紊ф????).
Misoka (?????) means ‘last day of the month’, and New Year’ Eve is the most important month-end, so it is called Oh(紊?, big)-misoka.

People tend to be very busy on Ohmisoka, because they have much to do to prepare for the new year, and New Year’s Day in particular.
Through cleaning is usually done in spring in the West, as there is a term ’spring cleaning’, but in Japan, it is often done on the last few days of the year.??In Japanese style houses, this cleaning?involves changing the paper on?Shoji (???絖?)?doors and setting?Tatami (???)?mats out to air in the sun.? The purpose doing this in the cold winter?is to get ready to welcome in the new year with everything?including people’s minds and bodies?in a fresh, clean state.

new-year

After cleaning and all, it is time for supper.
Around 23:00 on Ohmisoka, people often gather?at home?to have a bowl of Soba.? This Soba eaten in Ohmisoka is called Toshikoshi Soba (綛頑???????????, year-crossing noodles).? This tradition?has the meaning of a wish to be able to live a very long (like Soba) life.


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