New Year's Eve in Japan

Many people spend New Year’s Eve at home. Common sights in Japan are as follows.

・Watch a special program on TV
・Watch the Kouhaku Uta Gassen (Japan’s national song program) on TV
・It’s the last day of the year, so I clean up
Eating soba
・Family get-together
・Spending time alone
・Enjoy the feast
・Go see a live performance
Going to a shrine in the middle of the night for New Year’s visits

hmm…I wonder if it’s like this.

Why do we eat soba?

It seems that there are various theories, but there are two origins.
1) May you live thin and long like soba noodles.
2) May you cut off disasters and more.


Why go to a shrine?

In Japan, we go to a shrine every New Year.
This is called “Hatsumode“.
Hatsumode is held from midnight to January 3rd (or later).

There is a reason to go in the middle of the night.
A little before the new year, a big bell rings at the shrine.
This is called “New Year’s bell“.
The New Year’s bell is rung 108 times, which is said to be the number of earthly desires. Every time you ring it, your worldly desires will disappear, and the wish to live happily ever after next year is included.

Basically, I go to greet God, report to God, and make a wish.
However, recently, I think that there are many people who go to Hatsumode because of the custom of going to the New Year rather than because of their faith.

New Year's bell
new year's bell

How do you spend New Year’s Eve at your house?
It will vary depending on the region and the people you spend time with.
I’ve never spent New Year’s Eve in any other process, so I’m a little curious!

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