The Japanese New Year (Oshogatsu) is one of the most important annual festivals, with its own unique customs,
and has been celebrated for centuries.
Due to the importance of the holiday and the preparations required, the preceding days are quite busy.
The Japanese New Year has been celebrated since 1873 according to the Gregorian calendar, on January 1 of each year (New Year's Day
where the Gregorian calendar is used). -Wikipedia
A Japanese ancient tradition to celebrate the New Year is Mochitsuki. Mochi-tsuki, or pounding rice to make mochi (rice cakes), is an important
traditional event in preparation for the New Year. In traditional Japanese culture, families and communities gather to
make the mochi in preparation for New Years Day. The process involves soaking the rice overnight and steaming it, then
pounding the rice with a wooden mallet called a kine in an usu, a mortar made from a wooden stump or solid stone. Mochitsuki
begins with the washing and preparing of the usu/motar, kine/wooden mallet, seiro/wooden steaming frames and rice.
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