New Year (shin-nen)

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New Year (shin-nen, shinnen)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: a Haiku season of its own
***** Category: Season


The New Year is the day that marks the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. The Roman new year is on March 1. In many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner.

The New Year of the Gregorian calendar, today in worldwide use, falls on 1 January, continuing the practice of the Roman calendar. There are numerous calendars that remain in regional use that calculate the New Year individually.

With the expansion of Western culture to the rest of the world during the twentieth century, the 1 January date became global, even in countries with their own New Year celebrations on other days (e.g., China and India).
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Outside of Japan,
the NEW YEAR is not a season in itself and usually placed in the same season as January.

kigo for late winter in the Northern Hemisphere
kigo for summer in the Southern Hemisphere


Please read more in Part one with the basic information here:
NEW YEAR ... introduction

New Year, shinnen shin nen 新年

Akemashite O-medetoo gozaimasu!

The greeting when seeing a person for the first time in the New Year.
AKE ... what does it mean? The "opening" of the New Year?
No, it olden times it meant to open the small bag with the toshidama お年玉which the Deity of the New Year (Toshitokujin 歳徳神) has brought. It contained grains of rice (tama 稔玉 treasures) to multiply in the coming year and bring a good harvest.

Synonyms with "FIRST SPRING" (hatsu haru 初春)



First view of Mt. Fuji,初富士 lit. First Fuji

First sky, hatsuzora 初空

Lion dance, shishimai 獅子舞. Kagura, 神楽

Rice cakes for the New Year (kagami mochi)

New Year Arrow (hamaya) Japan

Sacred rope, shimenawa 注連縄
shimekazari 注連飾、kadokazari 門飾、wakazari 輪飾 (round rope)

Read more about these beautiful decorations here.
In many shrines, they are renewed for then New Year
to last until the next.

Introducing Shimenawa, Gabi Greve

Pines at the gate, kadomatsu 門松


First Religious Ceremonies of the Year in Japan

First temple visit, first shrine visit, hatsu-moode 初詣で

hatsu-moode yama no kami ni wa dare mo kon

Fiste Shrine visit -
to our Mountain God
nobody comes

Gabi Greve 2004 : Hatsu Mode

shizukesa ya mori no naka no hatsu-moode

so quiet !
walking in the forest for the
first Shrine visit

Gabi Greve 2005

More about First Ceremonies of the Japanese people


First sparrow, hatsu-suzume 初雀 はつすずめ

Fern, shida 歯朶 Fern and the Seven Herbs of Spring

Pheasant's Eye (fukujusoo 福寿草)


fukuwara ふくわら【福藁】"auspicious straw"
New straw that is placed at the entrance and in the garden of a mansion. It serves to purify the place for the coming year and is a gesture of respect for the visitors on the New Year.

fukuwara ya juu bakari naru tomo yakko

straw for the new year -
about ten fellows working
in the garden

Kobayashi Issa
Tr. Gabi Greve

fukuwara ya gomi sae kesa no utsukushiki

new auspicious straw -
this morning even the dirt
looks beautiful

Chiyo 千代
Chiyo-Ni (Chiyoni), Kaga no Chiyo jo (1703-1775)


Fasting day, sixteenth day, sainichi 斎日,さいにち
yabuiri, yabu iri, yabu-iri 薮入 servant's holiday in Edo


"Little New Year", Ko Shoogatsu, koshogatsu 小正月
January 15

kigo for humanity
a long KIGO LIST

A few more kigo are listed below.

Worldwide use

Outside of Japan,
the NEW YEAR is not a season in itself and usually placed in the same season as January.

kigo for late winter in the Northern Hemisphere
kigo for summer in the Southern Hemisphere



For New Year's here in Southern California, we have the
Rose Parade in Pasadena.

Deborah P Kolodji


Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade.

The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to "catch up" with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-yearcycle). This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors.

The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family.

Chinese New Year's Eve ...
staring at the mirror
long before

tenth New Year
Chinese fried dough
... and black coffee

A traditional Chinese breakfast menu consists of the following two sets:

1 Mantou (Chinese steamed bun/bread) and Dou Jiang (sweet/salty soybean milk)
2 You Tiao (fried dough), Shaobing (baked, layered flatbread), and Dou Jiang (sweet/salty soybean milk)

Chen-ou Liu
Year of the Snake, 2013



In Hawaii we celebrate New Years with a feast and lots of music...with many firecrackers to chase away all the bad spirits at midnight.. It is a wonder to see in the morning all the red paper from the fire works... is like snow... we never get snow so anything that resembles it we pounce on it.......

the dragon roars
at midnight for...
mornings blanket of red

children play in
of firecracker paper




. Marathi New Year's Day
Ugadi, Yudadi, Gudi Padva



Christ Church Cathedral saved by bell
Joe Humphreys

Christ Church is the traditional venue for Dubliners to mark the coming of the New Year and a large crowd is expected there tonight.
But the campanologists feared the annual event would be spoiled after the 2.25 tonne tenor bell broke during practice a fortnight ago.
A piece of the bell's tongue, or clapper, fell off, leaving Christ Church with the prospect of ringing in its first new year for decades without the sound of the "Great Tenor". Disappointment was averted however, thanks to the generosity of nearby St Patrick's Cathedral, which has given Christ Church a spare five-foot clapper for the occasion.
Mr Lesley Taylor, ringing master at Christ Church, said: "We always like to ring the Great Tenor bell, and there was a prospect of us not being able to do so. That would, of course, have meant we couldn't have done the full 19 either.
"We're very grateful to our friends at St Patrick's. They had a clapper of similar weight and size, and thankfully it works."
Mr Tony Reale, a civil engineer and one of Christ Church's 28 campanologists, has been given the honour of ringing the "Great Tenor" tonight after helping to install the new tongue.
Christ Church increased the number of bells in its tower from 12 to a world record 19 as part of its Millennium celebrations five years ago. Since then, however, the tenor bell has gone through three tongues - each of which has failed.
Mr Taylor said all three tongues had been made of spheroidal graphite, a modern substitute for wrought-iron. As a result, the bell-ringers were now seeking to design a clapper in wrought-iron, which "gives a better sound too".
However, Mr Taylor said: "as far as we can see there is a dearth of workers in wrought-iron. If there are any manufacturers in Ireland, we would like to hear from them." The tenor will swing into action shortly before midnight tonight with 12 strokes to mark the passing of 2004.
There will be 10 minutes' silence before midnight when another 12 strokes will ring out, followed by a cascade of all 19 bells - due to last about 20 minutes.
"Ringing large number of bells like that is prone to disaster," said Mr Taylor. "If one person messes up their timing it can produce chaos. "We are always striving for perfection," he added with a note of confidence. "All our ringers are very well trained."
Isabelle Prondzynski


New Year in Kenya 2010

New Year 2012

men secure
spaces on top of the bus -
new year rush

Mango Junior


In Russia, families also get together in parents' home usually, to celebrate New Year. And a buckwheat porridge which I like very much, is a very common meal (now, it's usually a side-dish, or a stuffing).

new-year's goose
with a buckwheat porridge --
grandma smiling



Russian New Year
by Zhanna P. Rader

Things found on the way



Awaiting welcome
midst the same old worries
the new samvat

R.K.SINGH, India


is a traditional song to say good -bye to the old and usher in the new year. Traditions of the season include the making of New Year's resolutions.The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600 BC.
Many people believe that one could be affected in luck by what theyate on the first day of the year. Here in Trinidad and Tobago; black-eyed pease and rice is a traditionally good luck menu for ending the old year and starting the new.

Other words that can be kigo in Trinidad and Tobago:
Black-eyed peas, Tournament of Roses, Whistles, Party hats, Auldlang syne, New Calander, Champagne, Kisses, Hugs, Fire works.

Gillena Cox


haru tatsu to warawa mo shiru ya kazari nawa

spring has finally come
even the children will understand this -
ritual rope decorations

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written in 寛文11年, Basho age 28, while he lived in Iga Ueno.

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

pun with wara, warawa 童 child, children


a new year---
the old dog
runs out of tricks

andrew riutta 12.30.04


new year
old load still
in the washing machine

Ella Wagenmakers, WHCworkshop


ring out the old
embrace your near and dear ones
ring in the new

Isabelle Prondzynski, Ireland


new year born
fire-works all over
I sit alone ~

new year midnight ~
through wild fireworks
troubled bird songs ~

new year dawn
the sun blooms again
in cool breeze ~

Narayanan Raghunathan, 2004


hoorai ya tada sammon no miyo no matsu

my eternal youth ornament --
just three cents
of emporer's pine

Kobayashi Issa
Hoorai is a mythical island of eternal youth. On New Year's Day offerings are set on a special table in its honor. Literally, miyo no matsu signifies "reign's pine." Issa is referring to a rather cheap pine decoration on the table in honor of the new imperial year.
Tr. David Lanoue

hoorai kazari 蓬莱飾 hoorai decoration
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


. New Year 2010
Akita International Haiku Network
Hidenori Hiruta 蛭田秀法

Related words

***** Little New Year .. ko shoogatsu (January 15) Japan.
Women's New Year (onna shoogatsu, me shoogatsu)

***** Ancestors New Year (Hotoke Shoogatsu) Japan


***** New Year's Food, o-setchi ryoori おせち料理
CLICK here for the New Year Food SAIJIKI!


***** First Calligraphy, kakizome 書初め、Japan

taking the brush
365 days
first calligraphy

Gabi Greve
Read about Zen Master TANCHU TERAYAMA and Zen Calligraphy: Hitsuzendo


***** New Year's Concert Vienna Austria

One of my favorite events to celebrate a worldwide New Year is the life concert, which starts around seven thirty on Japanese TV. This year, January 2005, the famous Radetzki March was not played with respect to the events in the Indian Ocean.

The New Year's Concert (in German Das Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker) of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is a concert which takes place each year on January 1 in Vienna, Austria. It is broadcast around the world to an estimated audience of one billion in forty-four countries.

The music is mostly that of the Strauss family (Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss). The flowers that decorate the Wiener Musikverein concert hall are a gift each year from the city of San Remo, Liguria, Italy.
The concert always ends with several encores after the main programme. The musicians then collectively wish the audience a happy new year, and close with Johann Strauss II's Blue Danube Waltz followed by the Radetzky-March. During this last piece, the audience claps along in time and the conductor turns to conduct them instead of the orchestra.

The concert was first performed in 1939 (paradoxically on December 31st of this year) conducted by Clemens Krauss.


Neujahrskonzert -
mit geschlossenen Augen
bin ich dabei

New Year's Concert -
with closed eyes
I am right there

Gabi Greve, Japan


***** January First, Neujahrstag , ganjitsu 元日
New Year's Day

Globally January first (Jan. 1st.) is celebrated as the start of the new calendar year; New Year's Day ; with pomp and festivity. The pomp and festivity associated with this observance is both
secular and religious. But this date is not the only observance of New Years Day.

In adition to this global New Year's Day there are other New Year's Day observances of other global sub cultures. For Example there is Samvat; April 9th of the Hindu New Year, there is the Chinese New Year Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year; The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days and ends on the full moon 15 days later, there is First Sunday of Advent the beginning of the church's new year of the Catholic Faith.

The Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible cresent)
after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).
The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March (Ides of March), but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun. In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate,
in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year.

Gillena Cox

January first
the bride and groom exit
into a new life

2004 Gillena Cox

a drizzle~
backdrops the birds twitter
January first
2005 Gillena Cox


The Actor Ichikawa Danjūrō VII Preparing New Year's Gifts
Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) (1786-1865)






Gabi Greve said...

. 2006, the Year of the Dog .
The Chinese Lunar Calendar


Gabi Greve said...

. New Year Rituals, 2006 .


Gabi Greve said...

like in the beginning
just one helping...
zoni on the table


Zoni (zooni) is a soup eaten on the New Year's Day.

Look at a haiga by Nakamura Sakuo

Look at a haiga by Nakamura Sakuo


Gabi Greve said...

hatsufuji o/saegiru mono no/nakari keri

absolutely nothing
to block our view; the first
viewing of Mt. Fuji

Nao Kataoka (1885-1953)

Seeing Mt. Fuji on New Year's Day is regarded as auspicious and to be celebrated. Anything can block the view--rain, snow, clouds, fog or pollution. In this haiku, it was a very fine day and the air was clean, fresh and literally heavenly as the author's own feeling, which is expressed in such words in Japanese as sugasugashii (fresh and clean), shukki (same) or zuiki (heavenly and god-like).

Susumu Takiguchi, Go Shichi Go in the Daily Yomiuri


Gabi Greve said...


new year's fireworks
the neighbor's radio
louder than ever

Carlos Fleitas,
Montevideo, Uruguay

Anonymous said...


New Year dinner,
in my soup bowl
her silver hair

--Vishnu P Kapoor, India


Anonymous said...


on the homecoming servant's
face too...
peach blossoms

yabuiri no kao ni mo tsuke yo momo no hana


by Issa

In an earlier version of this haiku, dated 1808, Issa ends with ume no hana ("plum blossoms"). After New Year's (First Month, 16th Day), servants in the cities were given time off to return to their native villages and families.

Tr. David Lanoue

Anonymous said...

new year
the tramp gets a new set
of old clothes

Ella Wagemakers

Anonymous said...

A new year beckons
Resolutions, hopes and dreams
Good harvest awaits

Ravindran Velaiutham, Malaysia


Gabi Greve said...

 A Taste of Culture
Japanese New Year

With a lot of food and some recipies!

Japanese Kitchen: Year-End & New-Year Rituals
Elizabeth Andoh


Anonymous said...

even on a fast day
this world's hell
is hell

sainichi mo saba no jigoku wa itari ni keri

by Issa, 1820

According to Shinji Ogawa, saba no jigoku, means "a hell of this side of the world." The hell of the other world, it is said, rests on the fast day, but this world's hell is clamorous ... as usual.

Tr. David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...


haru tatsu to / warawa mo shiru ya / kazari nawa

Matsuo Basho

kazarinawa 飾縄 rope decoration

pun with wara - children 童

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

raku na yo ya karatachi-yabu no nenshi-chou

what a convenient world --
a New Year's guestbook
on a bitter-orange hedge

This hokku is from the 2nd month (March) of 1818, when Issa was back
in his hometown area at a hot springs with one of his
follower-patrons. It is a month after New Year's, and the headnote
placed immediately before the hokku in Issa's diary says "Sugamo," so
this must be a hokku based on a memory of an experience Issa once had.
Sugamo was an area of inns and commoner shops, houses, and farms in
northern Edo. It was located on the Nakasendo road that connected Edo
with Issa's hometown area, so he must have gone through it several
times. The hokku is humorous and catches very nicely something that
would probably never happen in a country village, where face-to-face
communication is extremely important.

Tr. and further comment by Chris Drake

Gabi Greve said...

Toshitokujin 歳徳神 God of the New Year - Legends

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