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Osechi Ryori, New Year’s Eve Celebratory Meal

osechi ryori

Osechi Ryori is an important meal for Japaneses in New Year.

 

Osechi Ryori is a typical Japanese food that involves a tradition, preparing to celebrate the new year in the company of the family. Together they await the departure of the old year and the arrival of the new year.

 

 

Each food has its meaning and symbolizes good wishes such as wealth, health, well-being, and happiness the following year. It is a traditional meal in Japan to receive a new year and includes a variety of different dishes; all use healthy and natural ingredients.

 

 

Many celebratory meals in Japan represent a desire for good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Food is packed rigorously in a multi-level box called Jyubako, something similar to bento boxes.

 

 

But what is the meaning of each food in Osechi Ryori? Although it seems a curious fact, each meal has a purpose and is packed in a different space according to levels.

 

 

These are typical foods of the new year and are included in the Osechi Ryory box, let’s see what this thorough preparation of the new year consists of. Foods are differentiated from each other by levels: First level, Second level, and Third level.

 

 

First level

 

 

In this level are lucky foods, popularly known as Iwaisakana, the following dishes are mentioned:

 

  • Kuromame: These are black beans that represent well-being, health, and productivity, necessary elements to achieve integral stability the next year.
  • Tazukuri: These are sardines cooked in soy sauce. This meal represents bonanza, abundance, and productivity in the crops next year.
  • Kazunoko: These are herring eggs, they indicate that next year there will be plenty, it also represents good wishes for many children.

 

 

Second level

 

 

The foods located in this level are called Kuchitori; it includes pickles, the following dishes stand out:

 

  • Kohaku Kamaboko: These are cakes made of pink and whitefish. Its colors symbolize protection from evil spirits and negative energies, and white represents the purity of the soul.
  • Datemaki: Rolled tortilla that symbolizes professional achievements, wisdom, and culture.
  • Kuri Kinton: Meatballs made with sweet potatoes and chestnuts as a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
  • Kohaku Namasu: Radish and pickled carrot, symbolize the same as the Kohaku Kamaboko.
  • Kombu Maki: Salmon or herring rolled in kombu and cooked with soy sauce, dashi and mirin, remember the joy, and desire to enjoy life.

 

 

Third level

 

 

In this third level are seafood dishes such as:

 

  • Buri: It is a mature yellowtail fish that indicates growth and professional development next year.
  • Tai: This fish called red bream serves as a symbol of happiness, health, economic bonanza, and joy in the new year.
  • Ebi: They are large prawns cooked in soy sauce and sake, they symbolize youth and happiness.
  • Ise Ebi: A delicious lobster that represents eternal youth and full life.

 

 

Fourth level

 

 

It is the level of vegetables and legumes; the main ones are:

  • Renkon: The lotus root represents fortune, good luck, and a promising future without obstacles.
  • Satoimo: It is the root of the taro and its ramifications; it represents a blessing for the little ones.
  • Kuwait: It is a kind of turnip that grows underwater, symbolizes a successful professional life and great achievements.
  • Gobo: This is the root of the burdock; it indicates the strength of the body, mind, and spirit.

 

 

Fifth level

 

 

By tradition, the fifth level remains empty; you can use two, three, or four levels, it doesn’t matter. The precious thing is to enjoy the family company and a good meal. It is essential to share with all family members for three days the celebration of the arrival of a new year, which is expected with love, hope, faith, and wishes of prosperity for all.

 

osechi ryori

Osechi Ryori is an important meal for Japaneses in New Year.

 

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