What did you do during New Year?
We all had a great time here in Fukuoka, Japan.
大晦日（Omisoka : New Year’s Eve), we all got together around 6, and had a dinner while watching Kouhaku Utagassen. (please check the link for more info about Kouhaku Utagassen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C5%8Dhaku_Uta_Gassen )
Around 9pm, we prepared for Toshikoshi Soba . Usually, we eat Toshikoshi soba jsut before midnight and people wish one’s own long life by eating it.
However, we had to leave the house before 10:30pm for other plans.
What was our next plan?
Well, our plan was going to Temple before midnight and to Shrine after midnight in Dazaifu, Fukuoka. It’s cold outside, so we prepared well for the night!
What we do at Temple before midnight?
– To try “Joyano Kane”!! At midnight, the temple bells are rung 108 times. ( bells are rung 107 times before midnight and last one (108th) after midnight. ) Why 108? – There are some origins about it. The most convincing one is that human are born with 108 worldly desires, and one worldly desires disappears with ringing one time. Why just last one after midnight? – when the last bell was rung, we put our hope and prayer for “don’t let our new year mess by worldly desires”.
After trying “Joya no Kaze”, we walked to Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine. Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine is famous shrine for “the God of Wisdom” and many school students visit here to pray for passing exam and etc… By visiting shrine during New Year, wishes for the new year are made, new omamori (charms) are bought, and the old ones are returned to the shrine so they can be burned.
So many people…
We bought Omickuji (random fortunes written on strips of paper) and we tied our omikuji at the place to make our wishes come through.
After this, we went to food stalls and had some night snack.
These were our New Year Event during Omisoka and Gantan. When we got home it was like around 4 am..