In the New Year, we eat Osechi-dishes, which are special dishes prepared for the New Year. We usually cook them on Dec 30 or 31 on the previous year and they can be preserved about for 3 days so that nobody has to work for preparing meals on the New Year holidays. This year, I was lazy and bought Osechi-dishes on the Internet. Now you can buy various kinds of New Year dishes on the Internet or at department stores even though Osechi-dishes used to be homemade traditional food.
My ordered Osechi arrived on Dec 30 as frozen, I defrosted them for 24 hours in the refrigerator. The price was JPY8,000, serving for 2 people with 3 stacked boxes. I chose the one including both Japanese traditional and western style foods.
New Year finally has come, let's eat! This is Japanese traditional box, and each dish has some auspicious meaning.
Black beans - working hard and healthy through the year.
Herring roes - being blessed with children
Japanese anchovy - good harvest
Sweetened chestnut - fortune and wealth
Egg roll - intelligence and success for study
Shrimp - long life
Burdock - stable and happy family
Shiitake mushroom - long life
Vinegared vegetable with salmon roe - happiness (with the color of red and white)
Western style foods were mainly in the 2nd and 3rd boxes, such as smoked salmon, roast beef, and terrine.
If you have a chance to come to Japan in New Year holidays, please try Osechi-dishes. They are available at supermarkets and food sections at department stores.
Also, do not forget to visit shrines to wish your luck for the year!