The last day of the year

By Staff Writer
December 26, 2022
New Year's Eve has long been an important holiday in Japan. The reason for this is that it was traditionally believed that the Gods of the New Year would arrive on January 1, after dawn, and on the 31st various preparations are made to welcome them. One New Year's Eve custom is eating soba which is said to have started during the Edo period (1603-1867), with the long, thin buckwheat noodles believed to be a wish for good health and longevity. Also, from the night of New Year's Eve to the beginning of the new year, temples ring their large bells to ring the New Year. The bells are rung 108 times, which is said to be based on Buddhist beliefs that there are 108 worldly desires. The day is a holiday for nearly all workers, and many people spend it cleaning their homes or relaxing with their families watching TV.
A bowl of hot soba noodles with tempura fried shrimp
A Buddhist priest ringing a large copper bell on New Year's Eve
A Japanese family enjoying dinner together
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