Simply put, it’s the ceremony where the members of a household break apart then eat the kagami-mochi used as decoration during the New Year. Kagami-mochi (“mirror rice cake”) came to be a part of New Year decorations because its roundness represents harmony in the family and its extending, stretchy texture symbolizes hopes for longevity. The gods who were welcomed in the New Year reside in the kagami-mochi, and eating it both bids farewell to the New Year gods and signifies a prayer for health and security in the year to come. Also, for many people the ceremony wraps up the New Year period and gives them an excellent chance to get back into a working mood.


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