Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Last Day of Year

New Year’s Eve is called Ohmisoka(大晦日) in Japanese. As you can know from its Kanji, Misoka(晦日/三十日) stands for the last day of month, and Oh(大) means big. Therefore, Ohmisoka is the last day of year.

Especially Ohmisoka night is called Joya(除夜). There used to be a custom that people stay up late to welcome God, and this day was the only day children allowed to stay up late. There was a superstition that if you go to bed early at Joya, you will have white hair and the number of winkles on your face will increase.

On Ohmisoka, people eat Toshikoshi Soba(年越しそば) which is normal Soba but people have to eat before New Year comes. If you cannot eat Soba all, there is said you won’t have luck of money next year.

The reasons why people eat Soba come from its shape and name. Soba is a kind of Japanese noodle, and it is thin and long. One reason is praying for “people can live long and thin just like Soba”. Also, “gather the happiness at nearby” comes from the name, Soba which has the same pronunciation with nearby(nearby is Soba<側> in Japanese).

Moreover, chopped sliced spring onion, Negi(ねぎ) on Soba has meaning of “Rou o Negirau(労をねぎらう),appreciation for pains and troubles” from its same pronunciation.

Happy New Year everyone!
I wish all will have pleasant year! Have a good Ohmisoka eating Toshikoshi Soba! From Kayanon to All you.


Amine said...

Thank you, I wish that you will have a happy new year, and may all ur wishes of happiness, joy and success come true:)

Anonymous said...

Interesting custom. It always puzzled me that eating a specific dish can mean so much.

By the way, why Misoka can be writed like 三十日 (the 30th)? These kanji can not be read this why, I think.

Happy new year.

Anonymous said...

same to you too!!
big hug and kiss!!
happy new year!!!

matsuko said...

hi there,

i really love yr blog.. i can know so much abt u hv any idea where i can get japanese songs lyrics in Romanji, cos those in jap writings.. i cant read :( .. if u can help me.. pls email me @

arigato in advance (^^)

piccola said...

Happy new year~

soursop said...

Akemashite omedetou!
Happy New Year 2007!
Wish you have a wonderful year ahead!

Thanks for sharing about Ohmisoka! It's really interesting to know about it ^o^

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Kayanon hoping 2007 is a good for you...

Kuntry Konfession said...

mmmm...looks grrrreat! i ate sushi for New Years and thought of you....hahahahaha! sorry i haven't visited in awhile....been a little internet lazy...but HAPPIEST New Year to you too!
i love how there are such rich symbolisms in Japanese makes things so meaningful! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Anonymous said...

Mmm...this dish does look good, and it's interesting to hear the tradition behind it.
Akemashte omedetou!

kayanon said...

Happy New Year, All!

Thank you, amine. I also hope you will have happy and love

Happy New Year. Who knows how every Kanji is read. There are so many Kanji which are written and read in many ways.

Hi my mate! I hope you are having great time in your hometown with your family. I give you back big hug and kiss from Akita! I wish you a happy new year!!!

Thank you for your comment, matsuko. I will try to find Japanese song lyrics in Romaji^^

Happy New Year, Piccola!

Akemashite Omedetougozaimasu. I wish you a great new year!

Happy New Year Tony. I hope you will have good year too!

Did you eat Sushi for New Years? That sounds really Japanese style! and thanks for recalling me, haha!