“Japanese New Year 2022: Moon Goddess”
Acrylic on Canvas
30 inches x 48 inches
Japanese New Year, or Shōgatsu and Ōshōgatsu in name variation, is a public holiday observed from January 1st to January 3rd. These festival days mark a new calendar year for the Japanese in which celebrations are done quietly in contrast to New York’s Ball Drop. The populace also have these few days off for nenmatsu nenshi (end of the year and beginning of the year) to spend time at home or travel to the country to visit close family members. Visiting ancient temples and shrines (called hatsumode), and decorating with lucky, various auspicious items ( shimekazari, kagami mochi, hagoita, and kadomatsu) are other activities the populace partakes in.
However, some western practices for the new year, such as countdown parties—such as the ones done in Tokyo—have been adopted, yet festivities remain quite tempered. In tribute to the tradition of bonenkai, or the “forget-the-year-party”New Year’s Eve party that coworkers in offices celebrate to forget the trouble and stress brought upon them the previous year, the moon god—Tsukuyomi—is painted in a combination of the Heian-era style combined with modern gothic lo**ta.