This is the greeting for New Year's in Japan. However, when to say is a little bit different from the way you say Happy New Year. While you say Happy New Year from the end of December to the beginning of January. We never say this in December because "Akemashite" means "New Year has come." Actually, some tourists from Japan said this on New Year's Live last night and Erica asked Anderson if he could tell what language was it. He couldn't answer that.
In this post, I'll tell you a little bit about Japanese NewYear's.
New Year's Cards
We are supposed to mail New Year's Cards by December 25... or 26? .. around these days. Post office collects them all and store them in the office. On the morning of New Year's Day, they deliver them to each house. These days, so many people are turning to PC to make a card, but I had refused to do that for a lont time. I like handwritten cards because it reflects my character and receiver will feel my heartwarming feeling. I used to engrave wood plate and print them on cards, but I didn't do this year as I didn't have enough time. I finally turned to PC.
I made two patterns. Those pictures are familiar ones for daily visitors to this blog. To me, those were opportunities that might never happen again in my life! You see a big picture of "rat." I don't know how familiar Chinese zodiac years is in other countries, but in Japan, most people add a picture of the animal of the year on the cards.
Visiting a shrine
We visit a Shinto shrine for New Year's. We make a wish before the "God" of the shrine. Each shrine has its own "god." I'll tell you what to do at a shrine.
- Wash your hands at the entrance of the shrine. You must purify yourselves before you see God.
- Go to the God's house and ring the bell to call him/her. Bow twice in front, clap your hands twice, make a wish and bow once again before you leave.
- They sell paper fortunes, on which oracles are written along with the word which show how lucky you will be throughout the year. There are 7 rank and I got the luckiest! I haven't got that one for more than decade so it really made my day.
This is a picture of me and my brother.