Japanese New Year

As it is the first day of FEBRUARY, I thought it appropriate to finally talk about my new year!IMG_5601

As is the custom in Japan, I spent 2 hours on the 31st doing prep for New Year day food with my sister-in-law before returning to my house and watching television over soba noodles and retiring around 10:30pm. In the morning, I scanned Facebook for great photos of all the other new year celebrations around the world and fireworks (US excluding since it wasn’t midnight in the US yet) and then headed to Jake’s Mom’s house to eat the food we prepared with some store bought additions. Brunch starts at 10am, ends around noon and everyone, STUFFED, returns to their homes for about 30 minutes before heading to the gravesite of our grandfather/father and great aunt Nomura’s house. The whole day ends around 4 or 5pm and at some point within the first couple days of the year, we go to a temple to pray for the year.

I could tell you that being a boring mom has made me prefer the chill, family-oriented Japanese way of celebrating new year, but honestly, I think I would have preferred this 10 years ago, too. I never liked New Year’s parties, drunk drivers on the road and hangovers at work (my whole “career” in the US consisted of service jobs, so YES, I worked on January 1st). I never liked the pressure of the holiday in the US. While I miss the Christmas spirit every year, I don’t think I’ll ever miss New Year’s Eve.  IMG_5634

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