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Christmas traditions

This is the most favorite and bright holiday and new year’s holidays, lasting from 28 December to 4 January, are days of rest for everyone. Stops at this time practically all of business life in the country. There were times when On-segatsu celebrated according to the lunar calendar, but since the late 19th century the Japanese started to celebrate this holiday according to the generally accepted Gregorian calendar.

Japan is a country rich in diverse, interesting customs and traditions. In celebration of the New year it is very noticeable. Preparing for the holiday before its occurrence. On the streets of Japanese cities are many Christmas fairs, selling everything from Souvenirs and clothing to ritual objects. For example, HAMAMI. This blunt arrows with white feathers that protect the house from harm and evil forces. Or TAKARABUNE. Are the ships with rice and other “treasures” on which are seated seven gods of fortune.

Very popular talisman for good luck — CANADA (translated as “bear’s paw”). It reminds made of a bamboo rake. This thing is supposed to “rake” happiness. With every purchase the visitors of the stores is given as a traditional gift animal figure is a symbol of the coming year.

We can not talk about traditional Japanese decoration of the home before the New year, the so-called kadomatsu, which means “pine at the entrance”. KADOMATSU is a salutation to the deity of the new year holiday, usually made of pine, bamboo, woven rice straw rope, decorated with ferns, tangerines, and or a bunch of seaweed and dried shrimp. Each part of this jewelry is symbolic.

According to ancient tradition the Japanese decorate their homes on New year’s day bouquets from willow or bamboo branches suspended from the mochi in the form of flowers, fish, fruits. These ornaments are called MOTIBANA are colored in yellow, green or pink color, attached in a prominent place or hang from the ceiling at the entrance, so that the deity of the New year — Toshigami, “entering the house”, immediately took over my “duties”, namely, the taking care of a hospitable host in the coming year.

On the arrival of the New year at midnight of December 31 to January 1 for more than a Millennium usher in the 108 strikes of the bells heard at midnight in Buddhist temples.

In the Buddhist religion, a man burdened with six major vices: avarice, greed, anger, stupidity, thoughtlessness and indecision. Each defect has 18 shades. And each hit the bell on new year’s night free the Japanese from one of these afflictions.

After the strikes of the bell when a New year already begun, it is necessary to laugh, because as the New year meet, so spend it.

With the last kick, the Japanese go to bed, so then to Wake up before dawn, and to greet the new year the first rays of the sun. It is believed that at this moment in Japan sail in his magical ship with seven lucky gods.

Of great importance also and a family Christmas dinner, to which begin in the evening on New year’s eve. Dinner passes quietly and sedately without loud conversations and drinking songs. Nothing should distract from thinking about the future.

The morning of January 1 starts for each resident of Japan with the reading of congratulations (nengajo) and meticulous compliance with the list of sent postcards and received list. If there is discrepancy, then immediately go missing greetings that are delivered to the addressee in the coming days.

In the second half of the day the Japanese decided to go visiting. By the way, according to custom, in this country it is not accepted to come for a visit, without notifying the owners in advance. However, sometimes a man just leaves his business card on a specially displayed for this purpose the tray.

The Japanese give each other “OSEIBO” — the traditional plain gift sets. These can be jars of canned goods, pieces of fragrant soap. And of course, other necessary in everyday life things.

Japanese children to this day believe that their dream will come true, if new year’s eve to put under the pillow drawing “dreams”.

To offend the Japanese, if he wanted for his New year flowers. It is believed that giving flowers is entitled only members of the Imperial family. From a mere mortal Japanese flower won’t take.