Japanese Traditional “Osechi-Ryori” for New Year’s Day

As you may see Japanese special foods for New years Day which looks like a huge bento-box , we call that “Osechi-Ryori” in Japan.

Osechi-ryori is specially prepared New Year’s food eaten to give thanks and wish for happiness and prosperity in the new year.

Osechi ryori is characterized by an array of colorful dishes packed together in special boxes called “jubako”, which are eaten communally on New Year’s Day. Since New Year’s is a time for rest in Japan (according to tradition, nothing should be cooked on New Year’s Day), preparation of osechi ryori is typically finished before New Year’s Eve.

Osechi ryori is considerably the most important meal of the year.

Let’s take a look at some of the dishes with their meanings.

Grilled shrimp

Because of their long barbs and curved back (look like curved back of elderlies), shrimp are symbol of longevity and are eaten during the new year.

Kuri Kinton,Sweet potato and chestnut puree

The word “kinton” means golden clouds and used to symbolize treasures of gold and silver. Eating Kuri kinton is a wish for economic fortune in the new year.

Tazukuri, small dried sardines

Tazukuri literally translates as “making rice field” and eating these tiny fish on New Year’s symbolizes a bountiful harvest.

kuromame, black beans

In Japanese, the word for bean, “mame”, also sounds the same with the word for “hard work and good health”. Eating this food during New Year’s is a symbol of good health for coming year.

Kamaboko, Japanese fish cake

The shape of kamaboko is said to resemble the first sunrise of the New Year. In addition, a color combination of red and white is considered as auspicious in Japan.

The number of jubako shall be odd since odd number can’t be decided easily.

It must not look such a big deal to make osechi ryori, However, if you think it is time taking,you can order gorgeous osechi ryori at department stores too.

Of course, there are some Cooking classes to make osechi ryori.

If you really want to try, we are happy to find one for you!

Not a member yet?  Be a member of QuickHelpJapn and enjoy like a local!

Member Registration HERE

Customer Reviews

There is no review yet.