Japanese New Year Customs

Japanese New Year Customs

New Year's Day (Shogatsu) is a major holiday in Japan, and it is a time for people to come together with family and friends to celebrate the start of a new year. Lets take a look at some of the customs you will see this time of year. 


On New Year's Eve, many Japanese people participate in a tradition called Osoji, which involves cleaning homes thoroughly to get rid of any bad luck from the previous year. This is also a time to decorate the home with traditional New Year's decorations.

Hatsumode Hatsumode

is the first shrine visit of the year. Many people visit shrines and temples on New Year's Day or during the first few days of the year to pray for good fortune in the coming year.

Osechi Ryori

A traditional New Year's Day meal that is made up of a variety of small dishes that are served in special bento boxes. These dishes are believed to bring good luck.

Kagami Biraki

A traditional ceremony that involves breaking open a sake barrel, which is believed to bring good luck for the new year.

New Year's Gifts

It is common in Japan to exchange New Year's gifts with loved ones. These gifts are typically small, inexpensive items, such as traditional sweets or special envelopes. New Year is all about starting a fresh, and it is interesting to see how each country and different cultures welcome in this New Year.


From Team Chu Lo, we hope you all had a good new year.

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