Japan's annual events (winter)
As you can see from there being 15 public holidays a year, Japan is a country that has many traditional events in the world view. One thing that comes to mind as an annual event in winter is "New Year's Holiday," one of the most important times for Japanese people.
The last day of the year is called 'New Year's Eve.' Many people have already taken a New Year's holiday at this time, and they are busy cleaning the whole house all day long, preparing a special dish called "Osechi cooking" to eat on the first day through the 3rd day of the New Year. At midnight of New Year's Eve, 'Joya no Kane (New year's Bell)' is rung 108 times at temples around Japan. The number 108 is derived from 108 earthly human desires, but many people eat 'Toshikoshi soba' while listening to the sound of this bell at home.
As the new year starts, many Japanese go to the shrine for Hatsumode (year’s first visit to a shrine). Hatsumode literally means the first worship of New Year; with the new thought of New Year in one’s heart, we pray for things such as health, relationships, and university admission. There is also a custom that people draw a lot called "Omikuji" to see the luck of that year or buy a lucky charm called "Omamori" for psychological comfort. The shrines at this time are places you can fully enjoy it even if you remove the religious elements. Regarding New Year's visit, even a tourist can do so without permission, and in fact the Japanese also tend to visit shrines casually as a date destination. (Some sacred areas do not accept general worshippers)
There are traditional ornaments and play in the New Year. Japanese style decorations called "Kadomatsu" and "Shimekazari" are given to the house, and you can enjoy Japanese traditional plays such as Hanetsuki performed by mini badminton tools decorated with a beautiful Japanese pattern "Hagoita," kite flying, top-spinning, etc., In addition, it is also an opportunity for Japanese who often spend more time in western clothes to wear kimono and it is also an opportunity for Japanese to experience traditional customs.
As other annual events in winter, "Coming-of-age ceremony" celebrates young people who turn 20 years old on the second Monday of January. "Setsubun" is a bean-throwing festival praying for health on February 3rd.