The first day of the new year is a day for family reunion

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    OSAKA http://www.saleairmax98cheap.com/ , Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Ancient Japanese celebrated New Year according to Chinese lunar calendar. Since 1872, under Western influence, the Japanese converted to Gregorian calendar and started to celebrate New Year on Jan. 1, but many old traditions remain.



    On New Year's Eve, Shinsaibashi might be the merriest area in downtown Osaka, with tens of thousands of people gathering there, waiting for the coming of New Year. While most of the shops were shut down cheap nike vapormax , soba restaurants were extremely busy.



    Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It is a tradition for the Japanese to eat soba noodles on New Year's Eve. As legend goes, eating soba noodles signifies longevity and ripping off the troubles of the old year.



    But nowadays, young people eat all kinds of noodles for celebration of New Year instead of just soba. In a popular Chinese sliced noodle restaurant in Shinsaibashi, customers were not only Japanese youngsters who came for a change, but also foreign tourists.



    Close to midnight, in Tenmangu Shrine, an ancient worship place in Osaka cheap air max 98 , more than 1,000 people waited in long lines outside for the gate to open at 12 o'clock sharp.



    Visiting a shrine or a temple is also part of the New Year tradition in Japan. The first visit to a temple or a shrine in a year is called hatsumoude. In such visits, people pray for safety, good fortunes, happiness and long lives of the family for the new year.



    During the first three days of the New Year, famous temples and shrines such as Meiji Shrine in Tokyo and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto would welcome millions of worshipers for hatsumoude.



    The first day of the new year is a day for family reunion. For 38-year-old Yamashita's family, the first thing in the morning is to offer sacrifices to gods and ancestors and pray for blessings. The sacrifices include fish cheap air max 97 , vegetables, fruits, and Mochis, a traditional Japanese food made of sticky rice.



    Postcards arrive in the morning, bringing warm greetings from relatives and friends. The Japanese people send New Year's Day postcards to relatives and friends in December, and the post offices make sure that they are delivered on the New Year's Day. This tradition started since the 1880s.



    Family members make a point of gathering together for a reunion dinner on New Year's Day. They prepare various traditional Japanese dishes, each of which has a special significance. For example cheap air max 90 , prawns represent long life, herring roe represents fertility, black beans represent having good working attitude and so on.



    "We used to cook these dishes by ourselves, partly because all restaurants were closed on New Year's Day. But now we can buy these dishes, for some restaurants are open. The society is different now," said Yamashita's 70-year-old father.



    A special kind of liquor with fine gold scraps in it was poured into goblets. The Japanese has a long history of using gold foil in food and drinks as symbol of wealth. The ancient Japanese also believe that gold has curative effects for some diseases.



    "Happy New Year!" Yamashita's family cheered, each holding up a goblet of gold foil liquor cheap nike air max shoes , except for the baby of the family, who held up a goblet of yogurt.



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