New Year’s is probably the most widely celebrated holiday in Japan, or at least that which has been celebrated the longest. The current New Year’s celebration in Japan began in the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912). Before that time, the Japanese celebrated the New Year according to the lunar calendar, much the way the Chinese do today. It was after the Meji Restoration that the Japanese began celebrating the New Year based on the Gregorian Calendar and began to base the traditions upon Shintoism, the native religion of Japan, rather than Buddhism.
There are many traditional foods and activities to partake in when celebrating the New Year Japanese-style. Click on the above pictures to learn about Japanese New Year’s food and Japanese New Year’s activities, respectively.
Or click here to read about the Jewish way of celebrating the New Year.