Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! I’m Risa from JapanesePod101.com.
Do you know how Japanese people celebrate New Year's Day? In this lesson, you'll learn some important phrases about Japanese New Year's and some valuable cultural tips.
In Japanese, New Year's Day is called
[slowly] 元旦
On New Year's Day, the whole world celebrates the start of the year. While most countries only celebrate on January 1st, in Japan we celebrate from the 1st to the 3rd of January.
On 元旦, or New Year's Day, Japanese people greet each other by saying あけましておめでとうございます。
(slow) あけましておめでとうございます。
It means "Happy New Year."
When you meet someone for the first time in the new year, be sure to greet them with this phrase.
On the other hand, when you meet a group of people on New Year's day, you can say...
(slow) みなさん、あけましておめでとうございます。
It means “Happy new year, everyone.”
Japanese people also celebrate the holiday with special events and customs. The most popular one is...
(slow) お年玉
That means "New Year's gifts."
Children receive お年玉 (o-toshidama) from their parents, grandparents, relatives, and parents’ friends. The traditional gift is money. Since this only happens at New Year's, children get very excited about it. お年玉 (o-toshidama) are placed into a paper envelope called an お年玉袋 (o-toshidama bukuro). The average amount given to an elementary school-aged child is around 3,000 to 5,000 yen. As they grow older, middle school-aged children receive around 5,000 yen, and those in high school receive around 10,000 yen.
On this special day, Japanese people eat おせち料理
(slow) おせち料理
It's a food served during the New Year's holidays.
New Year’s Day celebrations generally begin with the first sunrise of the year. People usually worship at home, the beach, and the mountains. 雑煮(zōni) - "rice cakes boiled with vegetables" - and おせち(osechi) dishes - "festive New Year's food" — are eaten on New Year's Day. 雑煮 (zōni) is a soup containing rice cakes, the seasoning of which depends on the family and region.
Let's wrap up this lesson by recapping what you've learned. Listen to the expression and repeat after me.
“New Year's Day.”
“Happy New Year.”
"New Year's gifts.”
“Food served during the New Year's holidays.”
Well done! [pause]
You just learned how Japanese people celebrate "New Year's Day" and some important facts about the holiday.
And, if you really want to become fluent and speak Japanese from the very first lesson, go to JapanesePod101.com.
I’ll see you next time. またね!