New Year, New Japanese Traditions 英会話・英語 アミック
I learn something new about Japanese culture everyday. As the new year is quickly approaching, I’ve said じゃね to learning about Christmas facts and 抗日わto New Year traditions in Japan. Last year, I learned that Japanese people visit their local shrine on New Year’s Day for hatsumode, or the first prayer of the year. People line up to pray starting at 10 P.M. at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo in preparation for the midnight prayer gong! This year, I was happy to learn about the Japanese tradition of hatsuhinode, or viewing the first sunrise of the year. In both Shinto and Buddhism tradition, the god of the New Year, Toshigami, arrives with the sunrise on January 1st to grant your New Year’s wish. Tokyo Skytree is very popular sun rise watching destination in Tokyo as well as Goryokaku Tower in Hokkaido Prefecture. While most people in America will be watching the ball drop and then partying ‘til the sun rises, I like the idea of quietly watching the sun rise with a hopeful heart. Maybe my Western traditions will take a backseat to Eastern sensibilities this year and I’ll tone down the partying enough to stay awake past midnight! Although, I’m not sure I can stay awake until 7:00 A.M. regardless of when the partying ends. Although I live in a relatively flat part of Matsuyama, I’m thinking of climbing up the hill to my local shrine to catch the first golden rays of the new year. Who knows? Maybe Toshigami will bless this poor Westerner with a hangover cure and a nap!