Every year on January 6th the Tokyo Fire Department has their annual 「消防出初式」 (“Firefighters New Year Drill & Review“).
I watched this impressive show five years ago.
(My post and photos, here).
And, earlier that year, I saw the annual 「消防慰霊祭」 (“Firefighters Memorial Service“), which is impressive too (Click here to see my post and photos about that festival).
Tomorrow is January 6th, so the 「2015 東京消防出初式」 (“2015 Tokyo Firefighters New Year Drill & Review“) will be held tomorrow.
Flyer for the “2015 Tokyo Firefighters New Year Drill & Review” (2015 東京消防出初式).
If you want info about this festival (location, etc), feel free to contact me.
It’s now midnight on New Years Day 2015.
Happy New Year!
In Japan, New Years is the biggest holiday. There are many traditions, customs, decoration and a special meal with family.
2014 was the “Year of the Horse”…but it’s now the beginning of 2015 “the Year of the Sheep“.
2014 “Year of the Horse” passing the baton to 2015 “Year of the Sheep”
明けましておめでとうございます！ (“Happy New Year!“)
How did you celebrate the New Year?
(The above image is from プロ年賀状 (“Pro New Years Postcards”) website.)
It’s now 2014! あけましておめでとうございます！ (Happy New Year!)
It’s the “Year of the Horse” on the Chinese zodiac.
I came to Japan in 1990. That year was also the “Year of the Horse”. That means I’ve been living in Japan for two complete cycles through the twelve year Chinese zodiac…this will be my 24th year here! Time flies!
Here are the winning numbers for the 2013 New Years Postcard Lottery:
957503 – Prize: Computer, digital camera and printer – or – Digital TV
111316, 294651, or 346247 – Prize: Digital camera and digital picture frame – or – Humidifier – or – Bicycle
xx5635 – Prize: Regional food items
xxxx29, or xxxx70 – Prize: Postage stamps
Did you win anything?
In Tokyo, there is a subway station named 「辰巳駅」(“Tatsumi Station”).
The Japanese kanji characters that spell “Tatsumi” are the characters for “dragon” and “snake”.
So, for that reason, every twelve years … including this year … that station is a kind of unofficial New Years station.
This is because 2012 was 「辰年」(“the Year of the Dragon “) and this year (2013) is 「巳年」(“the Year of the Snake “).
So, for this New Years, Tatsumi Station changed the signs in the station to read:
辰 → 巳
(Dragon → Snake)
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.
It’s now 2012 January 1. 明けましておめでとうございます！ (“Happy New Year!”)
2012 is 「辰年」 (the “Year of the Dragon”) according to the Chinese zodiac which is popular in many Asian countries, including Japan.
If you want to know what year you were born in according to the Chinese zodiac, check on this chart.
The chart above translates the year “animals” into English…but they can be translated slightly differently too.
For example, ネズミ年 (Year of the Rat) can also be called “Year of the Mouse”.
I prefer to translate them as such:
+ 子年 : Year of the Mouse
+ 丑年 : Year of the Ox (or Cow)
+ 寅年 : Year of the Tiger
+ 兔年 : Year of the Rabbit
+ 辰年 : Year of the Dragon (this year)
+ 巳年 : Year of the Snake
+ 午年 : Year of the Horse
+ 未年 : Year of the Sheep (or Ram)
+ 申年 : Year of the Monkey
+ 酉年 : Year of the Rooster (or Chicken)
+ 戌年 : Year of the Dog
+ 亥年 : Year of the Wild Boar (or Pig)