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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks Blog6 Japanese Ways To Avoid Bad Luck In The New Year!

6 Japanese Ways To Avoid Bad Luck In The New Year!

Jojo MorscheJojo Morsche
Published Time
Posted on 
January 06, 2019
Modified Time
Updated last 
June 21, 2022

Every country has its own New Year's traditions which often involve food but also many come with superstitions! Some of them you might have heard of, in Denmark they throw broken dishes at neighbors, in Spain they eat 12 grapes during the countdown and in the Philippines people make lots of noise.

When it comes to Japanese culture, there are some other things that you have to keep in mind to ensure that 2019 will be your year. These rules are meant to be followed during the New Year period which is from the first till the 3rd of January in Japan.

1. No cleaning!

I'm sure that some people don't mind this one but on the other hand some people see the New Year as a fresh start and therefore as a good time to get rid of all the clutter in their house. The Japanese believe however that cleaning during this period might scare away well-meaning spirits who come to visit your house.

2. No kitchen knives!

Using knives during New Years isn't recommended for several superstitious reasons. First of all not doing so will promise you a healthy and safe year, secondly it is said that using a knife to cut things during this time will result in cutting ties with people too. Yikes!

3. No boiling with fire!

You might as well not cook at all during the first three days of the year! So what's wrong with boiling water? The foamy film drifting on top of water when boiling something is known in Japan as aku 灰汁 but aku can also mean evil when written with a different kanji 悪. So boiling water causes bad luck according to this superstition!

4. No eating any animals that walk on four legs

Emperor Tenmu prohibited the consumption of meat in 675AD. According to Buddhist teachings one shouldn't take lives, therefore many Japanese were vegetarians those days. This is surprising considering the fact that there are so few vegetarians and vegan options in Japan!

5. No fighting!

The idea behind this one if that the way you start your year is how it will continue for the rest of the year. Fighting can continue from January the 4th on.

6. No careless spending!

This must be the hardest one for most Japanese considering the fukubukuro that are released every 1st and 2nd of January. Why shouldn't we do some New Year's shopping? Apparently spending money at the beginning of the year will make it impossible to save throughout the rest of the year!

What do you think of these 6 rules? What kind of New Year's traditions are there in your country? share them in the comments below!

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