“Osechi-Ryori” is a customary dish specially prepared for and served in the New Year.
Originally, it was meant to be a preserved food, cooked to last for at least several days, so that housewives need not to cook during the New Year period. The food is usually set in a “Jubako”, a multi-tiered lacquer food box, so the food is presented beautifully.
Traditionally, each family prepared their own “Osechi” in advance towards the year end in preparation for the New Year. During the New Year Days, it is served together with “Mochi” (Rice Cake) and “Sake” (Japanese Wine). These days, people can purchase “Osechi” from department stores.
Many of the food items hold auspicious meanings, and represent prosperity, good fortune and health.
Examples of some major food items and its meanings below;
|“Kuromame”||Cooked Black Beans||(longevity and heath)|
|“Datemaki”||Sweet Omlet||(cultural and educational prosperity)|
|“Kuri-Kinton”||Sweetened Chestnuts with Mashed Sweet Potato||(monetary prosperity)|
|“Tazukuri”||Small Dried Sardines||(fertility)|
|“Kamaboko”||Fish Cake||(red and white celebration color)|
|“Tai”||Sea Bream||(fish representing celebration)|
and lots of others.
If you have a chance to try out “Osechi-Ryori” in Japan , please enjoy first by looking at the beautiful arrangements, and then by eating, celebrating, and imagining about the meanings!