New Year’s Eve Moon Rising

Moon rising on New Year’s Eve – a rare full moon on New Year’s day.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve at a friend’s house, where part of the dinner was osechi-ryouri, a traditional Japanese New Year meal.  New Year’s is the most important holiday in Japan and most stores were closed for several days (before the combini-era). To avoid cooking on those days,  the traditional meal consisted of preserved foods.  Each item has a symbolic meaning tied to good health, prosperity, and long life.  For example, kuro-mame (black soybean) where “mame”,  which means bean, is also phonetically the same as diligent/hard working.

Not all items in the traditional osechi-ryori are to my taste.  I’m not alone.  Recently more creative types of osechi-ryouri are becoming available such as Italian (prosciutto, olives, pasta, clams), Chinese, and French-Western style (roast beef, escargot, smoked salmon).

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