A Happy New Year

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New Year holidays are special in Japan. Families get together to eat traditional food and go to the shrine to pray for the happiness of a new year.
How do you spend your time in your country? We also pray that you will have a healthy and happy year avoiding infectious diseases and natural disasters.

The first several days of the new year are called the “正月 Shogatsu”. It means “clean and correct moon”. The Japanese have a custom of celebrating this since the 6th century. Even before Buddhism was brought to Japan.

Around the 8th century, it became a custom to celebrate with a special dish called “おせちOsechi”. In addition, play such as kite flying and spinning tops began around this time.

People visit the shrine and pray for this year’s wishes. Most people pray for the health of their families, the stability of their lives, and the peace of the people of the world.

During this time, almost all businesses are on vacation for about a week to celebrate the New Year. In particular, the factories are on vacation all at once. This is because people return to their parents’ homes and spend the New Year together. New Year is the most important vacation for Japanese people.

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