I can’t believe it’s New Year’s Eve! (Partly because I’ve lost track of time from the monotony of quarantine, and partly because it feels like half of me is still living 17 hours behind in California time.) But, regardless of my inner clock’s dysfunctionality, it’s the 31st of December here in Japan which means the start of the nation’s most important holiday- お正月 (oshogatsu!)
To celebrate the end of the year, my host mom served a traditional meal of hot soba with delicious tempura. The long, thin noodles symbolize a long and healthy life to come. Additionally, they represent the importance of having long and deep relationships with those around you. As for the significance of the tempura… there isn’t one really ?… my host mom said that being one of the few side dishes that pair well with soba, tempura is very common to eat as well. After savoring this meal’s delicate simplicity, I’m now looking forward to learning more about Japan’s New Year traditions in the days to come!
Curious about other Japanese holiday traditions? Check out these posts!