Trivia : What is the meaning of Bounenkai?

Nov 25, 2019

Q.

At the end of the year, Japanese workers gather for year-end celebrations that they call “Bounenkai”. What is the meaning of Bounenkai?

a) Year-end drinking party

b) Year-forgetting party

c) Year reflection party

A.

The answer is b) Year-forgetting party! “Bou” translates as to forget and “nen” means year. Coworkers and friends gather to reflect on the year and forget about the bad memories they had throughout the year by drinking. We also have Shinnenkai, a New Year’s party, which takes place in January or February. Gathering and drinking culture is very big in Japan, and it’s the best way to dive deep into the Japanese “Salary Men” culture.

Are there any special year-end work-related celebrations in your culture?

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