お節料理（Osechi-ryori) is traditional dishes for New Year’s holidays (the first to third of January). “節 (sechi)” of “Osechi-ryori” refers to 節日 which is a holiday at the turn of a season and New Year’s Day is special among those 節日(holidays). Family members get together and have the Osechi-ryori made of food that is believed to bring good fortune.
On the first of January, the family welcomed 年神様 (Toshi-gami, a deity of the year) and prayed for a good harvest and well-being of the family for the new year. Osechi-ryori was made to offer to the deity on New Years Eve. It was believed that, on New Years Day, the family had the Osechi-ryori down from the deity. During those holidays when the deity stayed with the family, nobody cooked or went into a kitchen. On the last day of the year, people cooked many dishes that kept long and had them during the three holidays.
Some examples of the ingredients
- 海老(Ebi, Prawns) : Its curved shape is a symbol to live long until you stoop.
- 数の子 (Kazu-no-ko, Herring roe): It means a lot of children and prosperity of descendants
- 黒豆(Kuro-mame, Black soybeans): Other meaning of Mame (soybeans) is health, symbolizing healthy life.
- 昆布巻(Kobu-makii, Seaweed): It is a pun of Yorokobu (joy), meaning happy family.
Uploaded on 28 Sep 2011 by smilekensakutai