Happy New Year~!

Posted January 1st, 2009 in Japan No Comments »


New year 2009…

How did you spend the last minutes of 2008??  Were you out somewhere counting down to 00:00??  I was actually at home, playing Japanese card game (hana-fuda) with my dad, brother and partner over watching the music show “kohaku uta gassen”, a highly popular television program featuring many of Japan’s most famous singers in spectacular performances.  At 00:00 we ate toshikoshi-soba.  Eating soba noodle from the last minute of New Year’s Eve to New Years Day is Japanese tradition.  It’s based on our unique customary thoughts from the ancient times that we cannot finish up the old year without eating soba.  (toshikoshi = “year-passing”)

There are some reasons why we choose soba and not any other kind of food: 

1) Soba is a bringer of good luck, family fortunes, and longevity (because soba is physically long)

2) Since soba is easy to bite, it is also considered to forget and sever any carryover of hardship and disaster that may have happened during the year.

3) Soba is believed to collect fortunes; During the Edo period , a gold and silver craftsmen used balls made of kneaded buckwheat (=soba) to collect splattered gold and silver pieces in the working area, and burned the ball over hibachi (= Japanese heating appliance using charcoal as fuel) to catch residue gold and silver pieces. 

While soba maybe a Japanese style fast-food, it seems to have an additional value during the new year period.  (by miyabi.com)

We just had these instant soba noodles… 🙂  (… my brother had udon noodle instead as he doesn’t really like soba noodle :p Against the tradition!)

Wish you all a happy happy new year~!!

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