How do you cerebrate New Year in your country? In Japan, New Year is the most important annual event in a year.
People go their home town to spend with their family and relatives for New Year holidays. “Osechi ryori” or Special New year’s dishes are prepared for the first three days of New Year which consists of various type of foods in “Jyu bako” or layered meal box. Each dish has meaning such as “Ebi” or prawn symbolizes long life, because it looks like the old person whose her/his back bends. “Kuri Kinton” or Chestnut paste which color is yellow expresses money, and “Kuro mame” or black beans symbolizes diligent or hard work.
Japanese people also eat ” Zoni” or rice cake (mochi) and vegetables in a soup. The soup is basically made of Dashi soup stock with white miso or soy souse and other seasonings depends on the region. Around the new year’s day, people pound “Mochi” or rice cake at their yard or entrance. “Mochi” is made of “Mochi gome” or very sticky rice for making rice cake. After the mochi gome rice is steamed, the rice is kneaded roughly by a mallet in a mortar, then start to pound it with a mallet until it becomes smooth and nice round shape. The rhythmical good combination of two people (one for pounding the rice and another one turn it over by his/her hands) is very important and it’s fun to watch.