Happy new year, everyone!
Please take a lot care of yuko series this year!

In Japan, the first few days of the new year are called New Year's Holiday.
The Japanese has the habit of praying for good luck, so there are various customs in the New Year's Holiday.

In order to pray for "a wonderful new year," people will visit shrines and eat auspicious foods. Such foods are called "osechi", because most of these cuisine are easy to preserve, people will prepare them by the end of previous year.
There are many types of osechi, each of which represents a different auspicious meaning.
Next I will introduce to you the representative osechi!

Herring Roe:The roe of herring, because the herring has a large number of roe, it has been become the a mascot to pray for "grand-generativity".
Black Beans: The symbol of getting rid of evil, but also contains the wishes of strong desire for hard work.(the pronunciation of beans in Japanese =まめ= hardworking)
Kurikinton: It is used for praying for wealth and victory. It looks like a nugget, so the people eat the Kurikinton with a implied meaning of flourished business and prosperity.

Datemaki(Fish omelet):Because its shape is similar to the scroll, the fish omelet means a desire to enrich knowledge.
Shrimp:Symbol of longevity, which contains the desire for health and longevity, that is, "live to be a old man with long beard and bent waist".

Snapper: In Japanese, it has the homophonic of gratifying. It must be best to eat the snapper which is held by Ebisu, one of Japanese Shichifukujin, as a kind of cuisine of osechi in such formal grand occasion.
Nisime:Boiling various delicacies in a pot, contains the desire of "family harmony", the food materials for cooking also have their own meaning.

Besides these osechi, people also eat the simmered dishes such as zoni.
At the end of year, many family will get together to mash mochi.
Please be sure to eat osechi to celebrate the beginning of the new year!

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