New Year celebrations: Japan's Reiwa era enters its second year with 2020

Tokyo [Japan], Dec 31 : Japan's Reiwa era, which started in May after Emperor Akihito stepped down and his son Naruhito took over the throne, celebrated its first new year on Wednesday (local time) with fireworks at full display in central Tokyo.

The Reiwa era is entering its second year with 2020.

The old-style calendar of Japan which linked to emperors' rules still marks January 1 as one of the most important holidays in the country.

The Japanese New Year is an annual festival with its own customs.

Since 1873, the official Japanese New Year has been celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar, on January 1 of each year.

However, some traditional events of the Japanese New Year are partially celebrated on the first day of the year on the modern Tenpo calendar, the last official lunisolar calendar which was used until 1872 in Japan.

People flocked to temples and shrines in Japan, offering incense with their prayers to celebrate the passing of a year and the first New Year's Eve of the Reiwa era.

The first year of the new decade will also see Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics, a much-anticipated event for the entire country.

Japanese people eat a selection of dishes during the New Year celebration called osechi-ryori, typically shortened to osechi.

At midnight on December 31, Buddhist temples all over Japan ring their bells for a total of 108 times to symbolize the 108 human sins in Buddhist belief and to get rid of the 108 worldly desires regarding sense and feeling in every Japanese citizen.

Australia and New Zealand have also welcomed the new year with fireworks and laser lights a few hours ago. It came an hour after Samoa and Christmas Island, under Australian territory in the South Pacific, were the first to usher in New Year.

(ANI | 6 months ago)

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New Year celebrations: Japan's Reiwa era enters its second year with 2020