Starting today, a new series of posts will be featured on WebMurder’s Inc.
For the uninitiated, 日本の月 or ”Nihon no tsuki” means literally ”The moon of Japan”, but can also mean Japan’s month. The choice for this name came naturally, as the posts will be featured (at least) once a month from now on, and they will all be about Japan. Upcoming topics for this new series can be ”Japan in the News”, ”Crazy Japan”, ”Things you didn’t know about Japan”, ”Learn Japanese” and much more!
To start things off:
Did you know that the Japanese have a version of the Man in the Moon? Instead, they have a Moon Rabbit, that makes mochi. It is a sticky pastry made from pounded, sweet rice, that is commonly eaten all year-round; though, especially during the Japanese New Year (shōgatsu), which is celebrated on January 1st. All kinds of foods are eaten around this time of year, even non-Japanese ones! The Japanese say that they let the weary stomach rest on the 7th of January by eating nanakusa-gayu (seven-hearb rice soup). The Japanese New Year is by far the most important celebration of all year, a tradition kept throughout the centuries. Even though the Japanese switched from the Chinese lunisolar calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1873, the tradition just keeps getting bigger and bigger! The sending of nengajō (New Year postcards) is similar to Western Christmas cards, and has become quite a phenomenon. It involves sending postcards to everyone you know to tell them you are alive and well, and to wish them a prosperous new Year. Special stamps allow letters, mailed within a time limit, to be delivered on January 1st. Many cards these days have a lottery number attached to them, so any lucky person can find themselves a winner on January 1st! It’s probably a darn thing trying to keep track of what lottery numbers you have, since most households receive over a hundred postcards the same day!
Kinga shinnen (Happy New Year)!