Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! This year I managed to skip most of the house cleaning but did manage to clean most of my insides out by catching the same bug that my son had. I think all is well now and most of the traditional Japanese obligatory things are now over for another year. We went for an outing to Yufuin to see Bob and Mickey before New Year and fed some carp (totally unrelated to New Year, but still a nice outing) and then it was mochi making on the 30th. Mum got into the spirit with her apron and managed to make some nice round mochi. For anyone who is new to this blog or who wants to be refreshed about what mochi making is please check out last years blog entry here.
Last night (31st) was spent at the in-laws house eating - the kids spent most of the time finding 101 ways to use crab claws. Mum then went to the temple to ring the bell with my husband at about 11:45pm and they managed to be the first ones there - starting off the ringing for the night - a total of 108 times to (and again I quote from Wikipedia): "announce the passing of the old year and the coming of the new. The reason they are rung 108 times is because of the Buddhist belief that human beings are plagued by 108 earthly desires or passions (bonno). With each ring one desire is dispelled."
Usually each person only rings the bell once, but Mum was given the honor of ringing it twice... maybe they thought she had more desires or passions than most Japanese people which needed to be dispelled!

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