It’s now 2013 January 1st in Japan.
明けましておめでとう！(Happy New Year!) ♪
On the Japanese calender, 2013 is 平和25年 (Heisei 25) … the “Year of the Snake” (巳年).
New Years is the biggest holiday in Japan.
It would take a lot to explain Japanese New Year in detail … New Years postcards, TV specials, relatives coming together for a special meal, temple visits, lucky charms and New Years decorations, and many other things.
I’ll just briefly introduce you to Daruma.
Daruma is a round doll that people buy at New Years in Japan.
He has a funny face … and no eyes!
If you get a Daruma, you’re supposed to make a wish for the new year and paint one of his eyes in.
If the wish comes true, you paint in the other eye.
Regardless of whether the wish comes true or not, at the end of the year, you’re supposed to bring the Daruma (and any other New Years decorations you have) to a temple to be burned … and then get a new one for the next year.
It’s bad luck to keep a Daruma for over one year.