How does your country ring in the New Year? Happy 2018, by the way!
Like most other countries, I have a big celebration in my capital.
Most people start by paying respects to my past leaders by laying flowers at the foot of their statues. People also pay respects to their parents, elders, and teachers. Many go home to spend time with their families. Songpyeon, the traditional rice cake that is also made for Chuseok, is often prepared.
In the afternoon, people flock to the squares of Pyongyang to take part in singing and dancing. Those who don’t go to the squares spend time on the banks of the Taedong River, having picnics and barbecues and playing games.
In the evening, everyone gathers in Kim Il Sung square for the big countdown. This year there was an ice sculpture festival going on to keep people entertained while they wait for the new year. At the stroke of midnight, the Taedong Bell rings and fireworks are shot off behind Juche Tower to welcome the Gregorian New Year. We will also celebrate Lunar New Year on February 16, and Juche New Year on April 15.
During the New Year’s period in Japan you see rice cakes called kagami mochi (鏡餅) everywhere. This traditional decoration has two rice cakes representing the old and the new year, topped with a Japanese bitter lemon or daidai (ダイダイ). That’s because the Japanese word for generation is also pronounced dai, but written with another kanji (代); in other words, daidai can be read as “generation after generation”. Japanese loves puns, word play and homophones.
Nowadays, though, mikan or Satsuma oranges are used more often. Incidentally, it’s important that the fruit should still have leaves attached. The top photo, which is home-made mochi photographed in the traditional neighourhood Yanaka, is the real deal. The second photo is mass-produced mochi which you can buy in any supermarket.
You’re supposed to break and eat the mochi during the second weekend of the new year.
The best thing about Lunar New Year holiday is the act of gathering together to make all kinds of traditional food.
The Vietnamese ‘bánh chưng’ is a traditional savoury rice cake with mung bean and seasoned pork belly stuffed in glutinous rice, wrapped inside large 'dong’ leaves (the leaves turn the rice a beautiful green colour), and boiled in a large pot for 11 hours. Its history goes back nearly 4000 years, when a prince presented the square rice cake to the Hung king as a symbol for the earth (back in the days, the earth was square, and the sky was round). The rice cake is made of everyday ingredients of farming life: rice, mung bean, and pork. It is appreciation for the local farming culture at its finest. Every new year, all Vietnamese families have a pair of bánh chưng on their family altar.
I’m a flop at tying the strings, but wrapping the rice cakes was fun. I made five!! (Yes the pair on top is mine.) It was very effort-extensive and time-consuming work, but it’s the process that makes it feel like home.
150101 real__pcy: 사랑하는 EXO-L 여러분들 그리고 저를 팔로워해주신 모든분들 또 저의 가족들 친구들 내주변에있는 모든 나의사람들! 드디어 2014년이 가고 2015년이 찾아왔습니다!! 여러분의 2014년은 행복하셨나요!? 2014년에 이루고자했지만 실패한 계획들, 안좋은 기억들, 후회되는 일들 전부다 잊어버리고 2016년 오늘 2015년을 정말 후회없이 잘보냈다고 느낄수있게 항상 행복한 일만 가득 했으면 좋겠습니다! 가장 중요한건 건강이에요 아프지말자!! 저도 2015년엔 체력관리 더 열심히해서 좋은모습만 보여드릴께요! 2014년 수고많으셨고 안녕히주무시고 밝은모습으로 2015년의 첫 해를 맞이합시다!! 사랑해요!!☺❤ #24살이다…. #20대중반이되었다 #떡국을안먹어야하나
To all my beloved EXO-L, to everyone who follows me, my family, my friends, and all of those around me! Finally 2014 has gone by and 2015 has arrived!! Was everyone’s 2014 happy?! Those goals from 2014 that you tried to reach but failed to, those bad memories, all those regretful things, forget all those things. I hope that 2015 can always be filled with happiness so that this day in 2016 you’ll feel as if you’ve spent 2015 well and without regrets! But the most important is our health, let’s not get sick!! I’ll also manage my health better in 2015 and only show you a good side of me! You’ve done a good job in 2014, sleep well and let’s welcome 2015’s first day with a bright mood!! I love you!! #Im24yearsold… #Ivereachedmymid20’s #shouldInoteatricecakesoup (t/n: korean tradition to eat rice cake soup (ttuk guk) every new year)
1) We only have one show left! #taipei 2) I want to eat songpyun.. at this hour.. and in Taiwan. They probably don’t have any.. even if they did, how would I ask..? Song-pyun sian ma..? Song-pyun.. wo ai song-pyun..
Note: Songpyun is a traditional rice cake with sweet honey fillings inside and is mainly eaten on Korean Thanksgiving Day (today).