A Happy New Year!!: Part I

Hi,everyone! A Happy New Year!!

You would wish you were cerebrating the new year in Japan,if you read this entry. Especially kids may envy Japanese kids

 Why?? Because you get to have lots of food,and New Year’s Day is the day kids will be getting “O-to-shi-da-ma” from relatives.

What is “O-TO-SHI-DA-MA”??

It is a little envelope with money in it.

 Little kids up to high school kids get O-TO-SHI-DA-MA. Usually start with 1 year grade gets $5 coin and then,as you get older,you get more money from relatives such as aunt,grandparents and so on.

 Then, some kids put the money into their checking account at their bank after spending some money on toys or something else that they wished for.

 Usually,Jan 1st through 3rd are really big sale time over in Japan,and toy stores get so crowded.

 However,the main event on the New Years Day is to visit the shrines/temples.

 Those places get so crowded as well. After that,maybe shopping around and eat traditional dishes “O-SE-CHI”.

 O-SE-CHI is the traditional dishes;there are more than 14 kinds of side dishes. Sweet rolled egg,sweet black beans,seaweed,shrimp,fish sticks etc etc list goes on.

 Each individual dish has its own meaning why it is prepared for the new year.

 For example,shrimp dish. Shrimp has long whiskers,and shrimp is curled up. Therefore,people prepare the shrimp dish wishing to live long until they gets their back curled up.

 How about herring roes? It is prepared wishing to have kids.Teriyaki flavored tiny fish dish is prepared to wish for good harvest in the new year.

 Sweet chestnut dish is prepared wishing for the wealthy new year because chestnut is color of gold.

 You can take a look at the O-SE-CHI dish picture here.

 Other than O-SE-CHI dish,we eat ZO-U-NI.

 Zo-U-Ni is like a soy based soup with green and MO-CHI (Rice cake) in it.

 MO-CHI is made from rice. Rice used to make them is special rice,and they are not the same kind of  Su-Shi rice.

 You can cook Mo-chi in the skillet, and dip them into the sauce made from the mixture of soy sauce and sugar, or you can cook them in the soup.

 When MO-CHI is cooked,it gets puffed up,and it gets chewy a little and sticky,and it really good.

 Unfortunately,when you buy them at the Asian market,the MO-CHI bag is ridiculously expensive. My grandfather used to make MO-CHI from scratch, and I used to help him making them. Freshly made MO-CHI is really good.

 On the New Year’s day,many kids wear kimono. Some adults wear kimono as well. New year in Japan is just like Thanksgiving day in US, and very very busy day filled with lots of tradition.

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Jan 01, 2009 | 0 | Japan

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