|January 1, 2012||Posted by peach_ under Life|
Girl selling good luck and protection amulets at a local shrine
We had a shaky start of the year 2012 here in Japan, and quite literally so; there was a magnitude 7.0 earthquake today, the strongest we’d felt in months. Although there weren’t damages or warnings of tsunami, it came as a shock and a sore reminder of the catastrophe of last year, right at a time when the nation is trying its best to move forward and start anew.
2011 was unfortunately filled with disasters all over the world, one after another, and so my #1 wish for 2012 is for us all to have a safe year.
Mochitsuki mochi-pounding ceremony
Besides the quake, I would say I had quite a slow, relaxing, modest New Year Day. Unlike many Asian countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year, Japan celebrates its New Year on January 1st. And no, it’s not much about the count-down or hard partying; it’s to be spent with family and most return to their hometowns. Since Christmas is not a holiday in Japan, I’d say New Years is our Christmas.
Here are some New Year-related photos I took with my iPhone and camera.
Tiny local shrine
Sashimi with 24-karat gold leafs
Japanese shishimai lion dance
The most surprising moment today was when I drew the best possible outcome, or daikichi, in omikuji fortune drawing at a local shrine, which means best luck in areas of money, health, love, career, etc. (I hope so!) The gold cat means “golden luck” (good luck with money) and business success. How very Asian.
Omikuji fortune drawing result - daikichi!
I used to always draw so-so or even not-so-good fortunes. I’d ask my grandfather, who is a Buddhist monk, whether that meant anything and he used to tell me not to worry, and that drawing less-than-great fortune means you have room and opportunities for growth.
omikuji fortune drawing box at a local shrine
And yes, the best fortune comes with a warning to not do absolutely nothing just because of good fortune or it will backfire, and that being compassionate and giving is important when you are fortunate.
As for New Year resolutions? After following zenhabits.net for a while, I’m an advocate of going sans resolutions. Resolutions don’t stick, but habits do; so I am choosing instead to attempt to create 1 habit a month.
So for this month, I’ll make it a habit to photograph everyday, sharing taken photos optional.
Do you have any habits you’ll create in 2012?
I wish you all a peachy 2012!