Japanese Events and Holidays in January

A Happy New Year to you all!

We look forward to your continued support of the Oizumi Town Multicultural Community Center this year.

January 1st:  Ganjitsu (New Year’s Day) or Gantan (Morning of New Year’s Day)

In Japan, New Year’s Day is the most important holiday. Many people go back to their hometown to spend the New Year’s holidays (“O-Shogatsu“) with their family or local friends.

Hatsumode” is one of the most important events during the New Year’s holidays (“O-Shogatsu“). It is the first shrine/ temple visit of the new year, where prayers are offered for the good fortune of the year. 

People eat traditional food called “Osechi” which is a special cuisine that we can enjoy only during the New Year’s holidays (“O-Shogatsu“) . It consists of traditional Japanese dishes like shrimps, datemaki, kuromame, and so on.  This is important as each dish has a different meaning, some popular “Osechi” ingredients are:

  • Ebi / Shrimp: wish for longevity 
  • Datemaki/ Rolled sweet omelet: wish to improve knowledge
  • Kazunoko/ Herring roe: pray for the prosperity of descendants
  • Kuromame/ Sweet black beans: encourage work and academic achievement
  • Kuri-kinton/ Sweet mashed potato with chestnuts: money, luck

January 4th:  Goyo-Hajime (First Working Day of the Year)

This is the first working day of the year, government staff begin work on this day. 

In 2023, Oizumi Town Hall will be opened from January 4th (Wed.). 

Second Monday in January:  Seijin-no-Hi (Coming of Age Day)

The second Monday of January is “Seijin-no-Hi (Coming-of-Age Day)” and it is a national holiday in Japan; in 2023 it will be January 9th. People celebrate this day to welcome the young men and women, who have turned or will turn the age of 20 during the current year, as new members of society.  Ceremonies are held in every city, town and village. 
Oizumi Town will also hold “Celebration Ceremony for the Age-of-20” at Yosen Kogyo Bunka-Mura on January 8th, 2023.