My Family’s New Year’s Day

New Year’s meals

Symbols of the New Year

How to spend New Year’s Eve

New Year’s meals

Every New Year’s Day, we always eat Osechi. (Photo below)

Osechi is a traditional Japanese food culture and is eaten in many households in Japan as a lucky charm for the New Year. Osechi contains a variety of ingredients, each of which has its own meaning. For example, black soybeans have the meaning of “May you live a happy life”. Shrimps have the meaning of wishing that “you will live long enough to bend your back”. Other ingredients also have various meanings, so it would be interesting to look them up if you are interested. You can also buy Osechi from convenience stores, supermarkets, or online. In my house, my grandmother and mother cook it every year. 

And we always eat Ozoni on New Year’s Day. (Photo below)

The shape of the rice cakes and the taste of the soup vary depending on the region. On New Year’s Day, we drink Otoso. (Photo below)

Otoso is an omen sake that is drunk on New Year’s Day to ward off evil spirits for the year and wish for longevity.

Symbols of the New Year

There are several symbols of the New Year.

The first is the Kagamimochi. (Photo below)

Kagamimochi is a New Year’s decoration consisting of a rice cake with a mandarin orange on top. Generally, the rice cake is eaten after the Kagami-biraki ceremony. In my family, we eat Kagamimochi every year on January 11th, making Oshiruko out of it. Some families also arrange flowers and place decorations at the entrance. This year’s decoration at my house is shown in the picture below.

How to spend New Year’s Eve

A few days before New Year’s Eve, we do a big cleaning. We are busy wiping the windows that we don’t usually clean, washing the curtains, and so on. At night, my family watches a singing program called Kohaku. Other special programs such as comedy and martial arts are also broadcasted. Then, just before the New Year’s Eve, we eat New Year’s Eve soba noodles. At my house, we eat soba noodles, but I heard that some areas eat udon noodles.



Osechi is a traditional dish for the New Year in Japan. The meaning behind the ingredients.」ライフスタイル/16740-日本のお正月には「おせち料理」。食材に込められた意味、知ってる?

Tokyo gas Uchikoto「What is the meaning of Otoso?」