Thursday, February 22, 2018

MY NEW YEAR IN NAGANO, Japan

I purposely arrived on New Year’s Eve to celebrate with my son and his family. 

We had a traditional dinner called Osechi Ryori.  It is an important dinner of the year comprised of traditional and modern dishes served in boxes.  From Sushi to individually cooked fish and soup.

We sat around as a family and feasted with all the traditional dishes.


As you can see, it was a feast!  After we finished, we went early to visit a Temple as this is what is done traditionally.


On the way to the temple is an array of food stands.  We were a little early so the food stands were just preparing the food. 

Above is the temple which was still closed.  But  one is supposed to say some prayer, clap hands and drop some Offering.

Because we were early, they just showed me around and the kids played some game on one of the booths on the side.

The food was delicious.  Even though we just had a feast we tried a few things.

They also sold Daruma dolls here to replace the ones they had from the ending year.  The Daruma dolls are made of paper mache without the eyes.  One is supposed to get one (it comes in different sizes) and you wish for something you importantly want to obtain.  For instance to get admitted to a University of your wish.  You make 2 important wishes or goals for the year.  Each goal is designated to each eye.  When your goal is fulfilled, you can now mark the blank eye with black marker to create an eye.  If both wishes are fulfilled within the year, you now have a completed doll.  If none, then there are no eyes till the end of the year.  If only 1 wish got fulfilled, you color only 1 eye.

Towards the end of the week, the Daruma dolls are collected and sewn into a garland.  They pile branches and reeds to hang the garland around .  They then light this pile of branches to make a fire in a large open area.  Locals who have given up their old Daruma dolls with or without filled in eyes attend.

This is a big event.  There is food served tonthe attendees.  I also learned they can cook some starchy food in a foil supposed to be good for you.  It was tasty.


This was a wonderful experience I will never forget.  Truly grateful to have been part of this event.

#event #newyear #tradition #travel 

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