End of the year in Japan

December in Japan

December is also called "Shiwasu (師走) " in Japan. 師 means teacher and mentor and 走 means busy in this word. A long time ago, many households would welcome priests (師) to perform Buddhist rituals, such as reading sutras, during this month. Therefore priests were very busy for the entire month.

Making mochi

In December, one cleanes the house to get rid of the dirt of the year and welcome in the New Year, makes mochi (rice cakes) to decorate for the New Year, and eats soba noodles (年越しそば) on New Year's Eve. The soba noodles are thought to represent long life (due to the length of the noodles), and the durability of the buckwheat plant also represent strength and resilience for the year to come.

New Year’s Eve soba

All in all, it’s a busy month in Japan!

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