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New Year's Day

January 1 marks the New Year in the Gregorian calendar, and is celebrated by many communities world-wide.
Korean New Year was originally a lunar festival, called Son-nal, held at the beginning of the second new moon after the winter solstice (December 21 or 22). Nowadays, New Year's is often celebrated on the solar New Year, January 1st. Many Korean families use this day to honor ancestors, have special food, and play traditional games.
Oshogatsu (January 1-3) is an important festival for many Japanese people. Some gather with friends and families to say good-bye to the old year at forgetting parties. They also say hello to the New Year. Many Japanese, some of whom practice Shintoism, welcome in the New Year with prayers for renewal of hearts, good health, and prosperity.
In North America, January 1 has become a day for Buddhists of all schools to attend a special service in the local temple.
For many people, New Year's Eve is a secular holiday and has become an occasion for lively celebrations and the making of personal resolutions or promises to do something. The customs of banging pots and pans, ringing bells, beating drums, building bonfires, setting off fireworks and making loud noises first started when people believed that dead spirits came back on New Year's Eve. People made as much noise as they could to frighten away evil spirits. For many, it has now become a joyous night to celebrate, countdown to midnight, and toast the New Year. We extend our best wishes to staff, students and members of the community who will be celebrating the New Year.

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