What's the meaning of this event?
The last day of the year is called Oomisoka in Japanese. To welcome the new year with good feelings, people clean up their house. Preparations for the New Year are to be made by Oomisoka.
Actually, this is not an event; no one celebrates it. However, the preparations for the New Year are very important for Japanese people, so many Japanese are busy cleaning and preparing for Syogatsu (New Year's season).
What do people do on this day?
To welcome the new year with good feelings, a general house-cleaning is completed, tatami (the flooring rush mats) are re-recovered and shooji (the sliding paper screens) are repapered by this date; family reunions are held and the whole family brings in New Year with a sense of togetherness.
At about midnight, bells speeding the old year begin to be rung at temples all around the country, which is called joya-no-kane. While listening to the sound of the bells, people eat toshi-koshi-soba (year crossing noodles), wishing for health in the coming year and long life.
Date last modified: Tuesday, 05-Mar-2002 16:50:01 EST
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