December is a busiest time in Japan!
Shiwasu is a Japanese word for December. literally means priests runs around.Because they are busy preparing for the many Buddhist events at the end of the year, they have to run around.
When we hear ”Shiwasu"(December), people feel rushed. New year is very important for Japanese,like Christmas for Westerners, whole family get together and celebrate the coming of a new year.
So we have do many thing for preparing the New Year.
We do end of the year shopping(mostly grocery), do the year end housecleaning,do cook Osechi-ryori(Japanese traditional New Year’s dishes) put the New Year’s decorations... So many things to do. oh boy.
One of the big thing is cooking Osechi-ryori(Japanese traditional New Year’s dishes) the end of the year.
New Year's Day was one of the five seasonal festivals in the Imperial Court in Kyoto. This custom of celebrating particular days was introduced from China into Japan.
Osechi dishes are usually displayed beautifully in a set of several boxes, which are stacked so that the new year will be filled with a "stack" of good luck.
You're supposed to make all the osechi dishes before the New Year, and eat them during the first three days of the New Year. This custom was originally meant to keep the kitchen peaceful during the New Year in order to welcome god.
The dishes that make up osechi each have a special meaning celebrating the New Year. Some examples are:
kuromame, or sweet black beans, have the meaning of
" Kurikinton, or mashed chestnut, has a beautiful golden color and is meant to bring "gold."
I still remember when I was a child mom was cooking all day.
And I have to say, I can't cook any of those traditional dishes....I'm sure my mom would be so disappointed.
bento.com - Japanese New Year's cuisine
All Natural Handmede Soap from the Gold Coast