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AMAZING JAPAN: gifts for Japanese New Year

What to give to Japanese for the New Year

In Japan it is impossible to give for the New Year

(these were my first ideas, which were immediately rejected):

You can not give the rake – the ritual wreath that hung on the front door of every Japanese home.

Japanese rake

Many Japanese told me that they have no tradition to give presents for the New Year. Well, you can give something without a specific topic, but not necessarily. Simvolicheskie gifts some in Japan give employees, neighbors, relatives. See photos from new year’s Japanese stores, what the Japanese give gifts for the New year .

And yet I found a solution.

Before the New Year, every Japanese home on the table or tokonoma put special ritual food – Kagami mochi (sounds like `urine`) for happiness and a harvest year. Made from special mochi sticky rice and sold in any supermarket, the store is `100 yen`, of course these factory mass consumption products not fit for gift. But if you make the mochi themselves (which is pretty hard) – it will be a perfectly acceptable gift for the Japanese.

Also in Japan there are many shops producing mochi in the old style, manually. They are not cheap, and if you have a fairly close relationship to the family, where you want to make a new year’s gift, this would be good. Specific prohibitions on giving mochi no.

Although Japanese customs mochi also buy the owners of the house, but your gift can be put in another room, and happiness in the house will be more.

One required a gift for the New Year in Japanese – new year cards. Everyone with whom you have had any relationship, should receive a Christmas card. It is quite acceptable to give a card and at the meeting, but it’s better to send by mail, even if you live in the same house.

On the eve of New Year Japan post tremendously loaded, so better to take care to send a card in advance for a week or two. Don’t worry, it will be delivered to the recipient exactly at New Year – 1st January, regardless of date of departure. On new year’s postcards usually are stamped 年賀 (you can append their own red pen), ohotnichyi that is open must be delivered strictly on the 1st of January.

A few days before the New Year at the post office will not accept greeting cards, as I can’t promise that they will be delivered on time. New year card came after the New Year is considered a great disrespect. If not managed to poison, then better not.

Mandatory gifts for the New Year, Japanese children. Particularly children’s relatives, it just must be . The children of friends – it is also desirable.

The gifts children receive is not any, but quite defined – only money, and be sure(!) in this envelope, otherwise it is very impolite.

How to give money? The maximum here is not determined, but not less in. Friends, the Japanese people my age say that as a child they said `FIE` when in the envelope were five thousand, but times are changing. But with the economy now a problem everywhere.

How to celebrate New Year in Japan

Celebrate the New Year in Japan is also not so vigorously as we have.

Do not be offended if shortly after midnight of your Japanese friends have gone to bed, and a special new year’s eve dinner is not provided. Some may go to a Buddhist temple, stand for a few hours in line and strike the bell. In the Shinto temples get warm sake and other alcoholic beverage, like milk rice porridge. There you can buy traditional Japanese sweets made from mochi and sweet beans, or bananas in chocolate – Western influence.

The temples should go, otherwise the New year will come very quickly.

Also on the first day of the New year is supposed to soba – buckwheat long noodles that life was too long.