Japan has celebrated new year’s day on the first of January since it adopted the Georgian calendar in 1873.
Most countries will typically enjoy their own local and traditional dishes on special occasions – like turkey on thanksgiving day or ham on Christmas. Similarly, It’s not so different in Japan where many traditional dishes are offered up to celebrate the new year.
Osechi Ryori (お節料理)
Osechi Ryori is Japan’s most famous selection of food during new year’s. The word ‘Osechi’ originally means festival in Japanese but people soon began to refer to it as the special selected boxes of foods from New Year and from then its name meant something else. The concept of Oeschi originated from Japanese housewives. Many stores are closed during the new year period so housewives would make sure they could survive the next few days by adding an assortment of food in these special boxes. The types of food were convenient because it could be prepared in advance and kept in a cool temperature for a few days. As the tradition of making Osechi Ryori grew, its aesthetic appeal became more and more recognized and eventually became an elegant tradition.
The dishes that are normally part of the Osechi include;
(as marked in the previous picture)
1. Ebi (skewered prawns),
2. Datemaki (sweet rolled omelette mixed with fish paste or mashed shrimp)
3. Kamaboko (broiled fish cake)
4. Kazonoko (herring roe)
5. Kuro-mame (black soybeans)
6. Tai (red sea-bream)
7. Tazukuri (dried sardines cooked in soy sauce)
From the image you can see how Japanese people pay detailed attention in the variety of beautiful food they select and the importance of New Years.
Osechi can be ordered easily during the New Year period, so if you have a chance to visit Japan at that time make sure you give it a try!
More pictures below for you to enjoy!
There are also Osechi made for kids!