Introduction of Japanese specialties 1

There is a tradition to send a new year card called Nengajo in Japan. In December, we write and send a postcard as a New Year’s greeting. The cards are delivered on New Year’s Day. Generally, people wish each other a happy New Year and print or hand-paint a picture of the zodiac sign of the year. These cards are also sent to friends and relatives as well as business associates. Some people exchange around 100 cards or more. This is similar to the Western custom of exchanging Christmas cards. Preformatted cards and post office cards available in stationery stores are usually laid out with animals of the zodiac sign. The characters for the animal of the yearare different from the common Japanese characters. For example, the Kanji Character “child” is used for mice, which might have a double meaning. The cards also come in many variations, with the lottery numbers printed on the bottom of the card. You can send not only a New Year’s greeting to your friends, but also a fortune.