New Year's Eve
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Around the World
O'Shogatsu, which lasts from December 29th through January 3rd, is the traditional Japanese New Year. It is a time for reflection, family, friends, delicious foods and of course fun!
An important New Year symbol and good luck charm for Japanese is the Daruma doll, which has no pupils in its eyes. The custom is to make a wishand paint in the left eye. If your wish comes true before the end of the year, you paint in the other eye.
The Daruma, which looks like a child's punching doll, reinforces the concepts of patience and persistence. As the Japanese say, "Nana korobi, ya oki", which means "Knocked down sevem times, get up eight."
Bell ringing is also a big part of O'Shogatsu, and the Japanese New Year is announced by bell-ringing at Buddhist temples throughout the country.
A special New Year decoration called the kadomatsu appears at the front entrances to many homes. The kadomatsu's plum blossom, which grows even in cold weather, symbolizes hope for the new year. Its pine branch represents everlasting strength, and the straight bamboo represents rapid growth.
Everyone in Japan enjoys the spirit of O'Shogatsu and the symbolism and beautiful customs of the new year.
The text is from the Holidays Around the World Information provided at Epcot.