Happy New Year!
Yesterday I spent New Years Day with my mother, stepfather, middle sister, her husband and kids. It's the first time in years that I've spent New Years with my mother. It's still hard to get all my family into one place - my husband had to stay back home in France, and my other sister is in Ohio - but it was still a lovely day.
Our osechi (New Years feast) was a mix of Japan, France, England and America - besides traditional food like nishime (simmered winter vegetables), namasu, ozouni and a whole roasted tai (sea bream), we had chicken karaage, meatloaf, brownies, galettes bretonnes (butter cookies) and a Christmas pudding! Whew. It's fun to enjoy tiny morsels of so many different dishes though.
Since Japan observes the solar year rather than the old lunar year, the Year of the Sheep (or ram) has already started. If you were born in 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919 or 1907, this is your year!
(This is the unofficial character for Funabashi in Chiba prefecture, Funassyi, dressed as a sheep. I'm totally obsessed with Funassyi these days....)
Whichever year you were born though, I hope it will be a happy and healthy one for you and your loved ones!