Happy New Year! We sincerely thank you for your continued support of MaryGraeSpa this year.
We would like to share our New Year’s greetings with you through this blog, appreciating and cherishing Japanese culture and customs.
In Japan, the New Year is marked by special events and unique traditions. For instance, on New Year’s morning, it is customary for families to enjoy “ozoni,” a soup made with mochi (rice cake), vegetables, and dashi (broth), with variations in ingredients and seasoning depending on the region. Sharing ozoni brings a sense of connection with family and loved ones, welcoming the new year together.
At the beginning of the year, it is common to visit shrines or temples for “hatsumode,” the first shrine visit of the year. Hatsumode involves praying at the shrine to dispel misfortune and wish for good luck in the coming year. We hope that by participating in these traditional Japanese rituals, you can purify your heart and embrace positive energy for the new year.
On January 7th, known as “Pine Day,” branches of pine trees, symbolizing longevity, are displayed during the New Year period. This day is also associated with the tradition of eating “nanakusa-gayu,” a rice porridge with seven different herbs, celebrating the diverse and delicious ingredients available in Japan throughout the seasons.
January 11th sees the event known as “kagami-biraki,” where a special round rice cake, called “kagami-mochi,” is broken and eaten. Kagami-mochi is believed to be a dwelling place for the deity of the New Year, and by consuming it during kagami-biraki, one invites the blessings of the deity into their life. It’s a wonderful moment to celebrate the start of the new year and invite good fortune.
Lastly, on January 15th, during the festival of “dondo-yaki,” communities gather at shrines or open spaces to burn decorations, charms, and ornaments used during the New Year. This ritual symbolizes bidding farewell to the old year and expressing hope for prosperity, safety, and good health in the new year.
At MaryGraeSpa, we cherish these Japanese traditions and strive to provide you with a pleasant and relaxing experience. We sincerely wish you health and happiness throughout the year ahead.
We look forward to your continued patronage in the new year.
Best regards, MaryGraeSpa Team