Japanese Culture – Oh-misoka

Return to all

– Dec 1, 2020 –

Oh-misoka means the end of year, particularly December 31. Winter break in schools usually starts a few days before Christmas Day and ends around January 7. Although the majority of Japanese people are Buddhists, the country is filled with Christmas decoration until Christmas Day. Then most decorations are swiftly switched to celebrate the New Year, in Japanese called “O-shogatsu.”

As the end of year approaches, most Japanese become busy for the preparation. On Oh-misoka, which is the last day of the year, people deep clean throughout the house, called “Oh-souji,” with “Oh” meaning “large,” and “souji” meaning “cleaning.” Many also do last minute shopping, which makes Oh-misoka one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Although COVID-19 changes the way people spend the holiday season, we trust happy spirits will remain the same throughout the world.