Bebe Taian: Ganjitsu! It's New Years' Day!

January 1, 2011

Ganjitsu! It's New Years' Day!

It's New Years' Day! Or in Japan, 'Ganjitsu'.

Actually, the new year is traditionally in February, according to the Lunar calendar. The Western new year did not become a holiday in Japan until 1948.

Today, Ganjitsu is one of the most important holidays! In fact, the holiday can last for up to a week, depending on where in Japan you are. Many places close on Dec. 29th and reopen on the 3rd, so be sure to have your shopping done early! New Years' holiday has another name, 'Shougatsu'- New Years' Season, a reference to those three to seven days of holiday around the New Year.

And the festivities don't end here in Japan! The second Monday of January is 'Seijin no Hi', Coming of Age Day. Everyone who turned 20 between April 1 the year before and March 31 of the current year will have a huge celebration on this day, breaking out their best clothes and spending thousands on ofurisode, obi, getting their hair and nails done, and celebrating with their friends! It is a very happy time. Everyone can smoke, drink, drive, etc. at 20. They are officially recognised as adults on this day.

It is going to be a very busy month!

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