New Year's also means Japanese/Hawaii hybrid traditions. Last night, we had soba and champagne at midnight, while watching Dick Clark. My cousins did the same and rolled some sushi. In Hawaii, we'd also be shooting off firecrackers and watching Japanese TV. Growing up, I never knew anyone who went to fancy dress-up New Year's Parties. It was either at home or at a close family friend's house.
We display special plastic encased mochi decorations that are never actually eaten--on our cars and the kitchen counter. These will stay up until Chinese (Lunar) New Year's. This is for good luck. Later, I'll get some paper 'omamori' (good luck symbols) to place in our bedrooms and over entry doors. All part of good luck for the New Year and out with the bad or worse, unclean stuff from last year.
For breakfast, we had soba, tangerines, and mochi. I went for my new-traditional mid-morning jog and later, we'll all head over to a dear friend's house for more traditional Japanese New Year foods.
New Year's Soba
1 package soba--this is not a meal, it's tradition
Hon Tsuyu (1/2 cup to about 6-8 cups of water). Do not use the proportions on the bottle, it will be much, much to salty
Green onions or mizuna (optional)
Heat up soup base to boiling. Drop the soba in the soup base until tender, a few minutes. Ladle into individual bowls. Add two slices of kamaboko and green onions or mizuna if desired. Slurp loudly and sip champagne.