(ah-kay-mah-sh-tay oh-may-day-toh-u go-zah-ee-mah-su)
Happy New Year! 2011--The Year Of The Rabbit!
Sorry for the rather long blog break--we went to the in-laws for New Year's and I've had a houseful of kids since we got back...
The thing that always kills me about Christmas/New Year's in Japan is the transition from one to the other--Christmas stuff is out 'til December 25...and disappears overnight. By December 26, there's not a hint of Christmas in any store and every decoration has been changed over to O-Shogatsu (New Year).
As I said, we went to visit O-Jiisan and O-Baasan (grandpa and grandma) for New Year's. Usually we sit around eating mikan and watching TV and watch the bell ringing at various temples that way. This year, though, I convinced my father-in-law to take my husband and me (too late for the kids) out at midnight for Hatsumode (First Praying At The Shrine/Temple--really these words are nearly impossible to translate). I took the camera along planning to video the temple monk ringing the bell.
|The Temple at Kawana, Izu Peninsula|
|The Big Bell|
|No clapper--you use the log to ring the bell|
|Protective Komainu (lion-dogs) around the Big Bell|
...the whole place was lit up with candles set in bamboo holders, diagonally-cut pieces like the Kadomatsu. Beautiful!
Here we are, ringing in the New Year:
Happy New Year--Have a great 2011! Oh yeah--I made you a Nengajou (New Year's Card):
|Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! Just for you:-))|