It is a time to welcome the God of the New Year for Japanese family. New Year's God is a guardian of grains, abundant harvest in the precious ear and wishing for that of the coming year.
Osechi-ryori is a special meal prepared for New Year's days ( January 1st to the 3rd), most house holds in Japan start to prepare for the feast after Christmas. Traditionally, the special foods are filled in a tier of lacquered boxes.
Each part of dishes has meaning something relate to good luck for the new year.
Black soybeans ( kuromame) symbolize a prayer for being healthy and hard working.
Herring roe (kazunoko) wishing for fertility since the herring roe consisting of plenty of eggs.
Roasted dried anchovy is representative of a prayer for a rich harvest since there is a story that comes from a story that rich rice harvested when anchovy was used as fertilizer for rice fields.
Shrimp is a symbol of longevity. Because the shape of the bending waist makes us imagine the old age.
There are different names and variations depending on the local area.
I'm always exciting to cook those food for the feast every year.