Trivia: Which is NOT a way that Japanese people traditionally celebrate the New Year?

Dec 23, 2019

2020 is right around the corner, so this trivia question is dedicated to New Year’s celebration in Japan!

Q.

Which is NOT a way that Japanese people traditionally celebrate the New Year?

a) Giving money to children

b) Visiting a temple to pray for the New Year

c) Eating “osechi”

d) Going out to a New Year’s countdown party

A.

The answer is d) Going out to a New Year’s countdown party. While you’ll likely find New Year’s countdown parties at bars mostly filled with tourists and foreign residents, it’s not traditional in Japan to celebrate the New Year with a countdown party.

In Japan, oshogatsu (New Years) is a time to spend with family. Many Japanese people travel back to their hometowns to stay with family and eat lots of osechi (a Japanese traditional New Year’s meal), give otoshidama (New Year’s allowance) to children, and visit temples to pray for the New Year.

One other thing that some Japanese families do is go to a nearby sento (public bathhouse) to take an asaburo (morning bath). Personally, my family spent generations in the public bath house business so this is a great memory to me. It’s great to clean your body and start the New Year, fresh!

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