Ōmisoka - Japanese New Year
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ŌMISOKA

Omisoka is the Japanese word for New Year's Eve or December 31 of every year.

In Japan, there are a few customs practiced on this day. Let's learn more about them and where they can be enjoyed.

There are several words and phrases that mean "the end of the year" in Japanese.

Some of the most basic are "nenmatsu" and "toshi-no-kure". "Matsu" and "kure" are words for "the end of ~", so both phrases mean "the end of the year".

"Toshi-no-se" is also a quite popular word. This phrase is used to express the "busy season in December". People will say in mid-December that "the toshi-no-se is coming", or that "the toshi-no-se has come" in late December.

Likewise, "omisoka" also stands for the end of the year.
DATABASES
Omisoka is the Japanese word for New Year's Eve or December 31 of every year.

In Japan, there are a few customs practiced on this day. Let's learn more about them and where they can be enjoyed.

There are several words and phrases that mean "the end of the year" in Japanese.

Some of the most basic are "nenmatsu" and "toshi-no-kure". "Matsu" and "kure" are words for "the end of ~", so both phrases mean "the end of the year".

"Toshi-no-se" is also a quite popular word. This phrase is used to express the "busy season in December". People will say in mid-December that "the toshi-no-se is coming", or that "the toshi-no-se has come" in late December.

Likewise, "omisoka" also stands for the end of the year.
The final day of the year, December 31, is called omisoka in Japan. In order to usher in the new year feeling fresh, families have to finish up cleaning their house and making preparations for the New Year holidays by omisoka. Kids are in the middle of winter break, and they usually help out with the chores.


A lot of college students and working people who moved to big cities to attend school or take on a job return to their hometowns to spend New Year's with their families, friends, and relatives. On New Year's Eve, many families gather around the TV set to watch special omisoka programs and eat toshi-koshi ("year-crossing") buckwheat noodles in the hope that one's life will be stretched out as long as these noodles. New Year's Eve is the one day of the year when kids don't get scolded for staying up late.
Ōmisoka (大晦日)—or ōtsugomori (大晦)—is a Japanese traditional celebration on the last day of the year. Traditionally, it was held on the final day of the 12th lunar month. With Japan's switch to using the Gregorian calendar at the beginning of the Meiji era, December 31 (New Year's Eve) is now used for the celebration.

The last day of each month of the Japanese lunisolar calendar was historically named misoka (晦日). Originally, "miso" was written as 三十, indicating the 30th day, though misoka sometimes fell on the 29th due to the varying lengths of the lunar month. The last day in the 12th lunar month is called ōmisoka (大晦日)—with the 大 indicating it is the final last day of the month for that year—or the "great thirtieth day".[1][2] As part of the Meiji Restoration, Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1873, and ōmisoka was set as December 31, or New Year's Eve.[3] The day is also known by the archaic pronunciation of ōtsugomori (大晦).[1][4] This is a shortened version of tsukigomori (月隠り), meaning "last day of the month".[1]
. Japanese New Year takes place on the last day of the year (December 31st). In preparation for a new year and a clean slate people purify their homes and remove last year’s clutter by cleaning from top to bottom. This is called “osoji”. They have a giant feast with friends and family with some traditional Japanese foods. Often people go out to celebrate or stay home and watch a nation-wide New Year’s talent competition until it’s time to count down to midnight. Omisoka isn’t just about having a party, it is also considered a spiritual event for many Japanese people, and at midnight they visit Shinto shrines. Temples ring a large cast iron bell at midnight to signify the 108 earthly wants that created human suffering.