Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year! あけましておめでとうございます

I hope the new year finds you and your family well and happy!

To celebrate the end of 2010, I attended the year-end Mochi-Tsuki (rice cake pounding) event hosted by the Nippon Club of the Triangle.

Boiled sticky rice (餅米 mochigome) is put into a shallow stone bowl and patted with water and then pounded with a large wooden mallet. Mashing the rice, it forms a sticky white dumpling -- and can be eaten with all sorts of delicious toppings.

Mochi is also made into a New Year's decoration called kagami mochi (鏡餅), formed from two round cakes of mochi with a bitter orange (橙 daidai) placed on top. The name daidai is supposed to be auspicious since it means "several generations."

To write "Happy New Year" in Japanese: あけましておめでとうございます

To say "Happy New Year" in Japanese: Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu

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