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New Year's Activities - Japan


The Japanese have a custom of sending New Year's Day postcards to their friends and relatives, similar to the Western custom of sending Christmas cards -- the sender and the Japanese post office do their best to ensure the postcard arrives on January 1st.  The post office actually hires students for the day to help get all of the Jan 1st postcards delivered.  Most of the postcards have the Chinese zodiac sign of the New Year as their design.


On New Year's Day, Japanese adults give money to children in small decorated envelopes called 'pochibukuro'.  This tradition is known as otoshidama.

Japanese Hatsu

Hatsu—a list of “firsts” that the Japanese observe during the first two weeks of each new year.  Some of these are: