Japanese celebrate New Year's Day is on January
1 each year. Before 1873, the Japanese
New Year (shogatsu or oshogatsu)
was based on the Chinese
lunisolar calendar and celebrated at the
beginning of spring.
However, in 1873, Japan adopted the Gregorian
calendar and the first day of January is the official
New Year's Day in modern Japan. It is considered
by most Japanese to be one of the most important
People eat a special selection of dishes during
the New Year celebration called osechi-ryori
popularly called to osechi.
Most businesses shut down from January 1 to January
3, and families typically gather to spend the
days together. It is a day of Cleaning
up Minds, Homes, Debts and Spirits.
Although Christmas cards exist
in Japan, most people send traditional
New Year's postcards called Nengajyo,
to friends, relatives and business associates.
People are happy to receive and read those nengajyo
on New Year's Day. Japanese post offices
accept New Year's cards from mid-December, and
they deliver them on New Year Day. Prepaid
New Year's postcards with lottery numbers
are now getting popular.