December 31st - january 3rd
Shogatsu (New Years) is one of the most important holidays celebrated throughout Japan. New Years is celebrated to leave the old year’s worries behind and provide a fresh start for the year ahead.
During this time, most businesses shut down and families gather to spend time together.
HOW THE HOLIDAY IS CELEBRATED
During osoji, or big cleaning, families and children deep clean the entire house. The tradition is performed in preparation for the New Year to begin fresh.
Otoshidama is the Japanese tradition of giving children decorated envelopes with cash, like the one above. Otoshidama is given to children by family members. The amount of money varies by age of the children, but averages 5,000 yen.