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Christmas and New Year's Japanese culture (part 1)

Different from other countries in the region such as China, Vietnam, Korea, the traditional Japanese New Year has still kept its own Asian traditions and also absorbed new cultures from the West through exchanges and history over time.
 
The Japanese began to celebrate Western New Year from the sixth Minh Trii period, 1873. The Japanese called this event "Oshogatsu", and this was the event to welcome the God Toshigamisama Oshogatsu.

 
japanese christmas
 
Once Christmas and New Year coming, companies often send Christmas cards called "Nengajo" to their customers and partners to express their deep gratitude in the long times cooperation together. This custom expresses the cultural tradition of "thanks" of the Japanese.
 
Postcards with Christmas and New Year whishes will be sent to the addresses of relatives and people who have helped. The postcards in Japan do not use the red color according to their perception. And the mourning families will not receive or send a card within a year, that called "Mochu" with purpose to let them remembering and praying for the dead.
 
The Japanese often put the tree (kadomatsu) in front of the house, or in front of the company. They believe that the tree as a place to welcome the God Toshigamisama to bring prosperity, luck and longevity to their families or companies.

Besides that tree, the Japanese also use the braided rope of grass, strip of white paper ... symbolized many wishes, different ideas for a good new year. They clean and decorate their houses as like other countries to welcome the New Year Gods to there, and often started the cleaning the houses on December 13 of the year, called "Susuharai" day, but now they clean & decorate their homes on the 28th or 30th, due to 29th in Japanese is a sound similar to "Nijyu no kurushimi", meaning "twice the pain", so they often avoid the decoration on the 29th; and other they can decorate the last day of the year is 31st.
 
Items used to decorate houses such as "Kadomatsu" including a pine branches and 3 freshly knotted bamboo sticks, which are considered signs of the Gods. The Japanese decorate Kadomatsu in front of the house and use the blessing trees such as pine, bamboo.

 
japanese christmas and new year
 
Shimekazari "is put at the entrance and altar to show a sacred and exorcism place of the house
 
In the 0 o'clock of New Year, all the temples in Japan hit exactly 108 bells with the meaning of banishing 108 demons, and this time, during the bell rang, everyone gathered together to enjoy sake and traditional dishes.

 
japanese-christmas-03
 
Refer to source: kilala.vn, duhocnhatban.edu.vn and some other
Pl be continue part 2
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