Shizuka’s BeautyZen Corner: Holiday Traditions
In Japan, New Year’s Day is considered more festive than Christmas. It’s a time when families gather together to eat, determine new beginnings, and pay respect to a religious shrine or temple.
Osechi ryori, or traditional New Year’s foods, are served and traditional décor are displayed and enjoyed. Combining the two is the Kagami mochi–it’s both a food and a decoration. This New Year’s staple consists of two differently sized round rice cakes placed on top of the other, with the smaller cake on top. The stack is then topped with a small bitter orange. Like most things in Japanese culture, there’s meaning to the Kagami mochi display. The larger cake represents the past, the smaller one the future and the orange on top symbolizes the continuity of the generations and long life.
Kagami mochi is displayed for a couple weeks after New Year’s Day and then is broken apart and enjoyed together with loved ones.