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....)

2015-eto-funassyi.jpg

Whichever year you were born though, I hope it will be a happy and healthy one for you and your loved ones!

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Comments

When did the Japanese year begin? All my recearching resulted in either Japanese new year being the same as western new year (31st December / January 1st) or the same as the Chinese, which is not until February 19th.

It's the same as the US, Jan 1. Their fiscal and academic year begins in April though.

Happy New Year to Maki san and everyone!
In your picture you have a whole red snapper (okashira), a must-have for celebration. Being a Japanese couple living in NJ, USA, who have never cooked or tried to cook osechi ourselves, we had only kinton, datemaki, kuromame, and kazunoko. Tazukuri? Kobumaki? Hell No! As a kid I always wondered why we ate these stuff for new year...

MatherOwl,
In Japan we have veen using the same calender year with the western countries, probably since 1860s. However, offical year for goverment a gencies, schools and some corporations is April 1 through March 31. So cherry blossom is a symbol of good-bye (because of graduation) and new beginning.

Happy and healthy 2015 Maki!
All I remember from Japanese New Year is from "Fruits Basket": you're meant to do major cleaning and then watch the sunset? Or is that just in the series and not in real life?

Happy new year for you too. Thanks for every post, and recipe. Eliza :)

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