Food for the New Year's Celebration

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Dave M.
Growing up in Chicago, I always get excited when November arrives even though the warm weather has gone. For me, the holidays have always meant spending time with family and eating good food. Thanksgiving, Christmas and my favorite: New Year's Day.

In Japan, New Year's Day is one of the most important days of the year because it's when you wish for good health and good fortune in the coming year. In my family, we celebrate with a family gathering that lasts a few days, if you include the preparations of the meal.

The day starts with a vegetable soup that has a rice cake in it (ozoni), which is in hopes of having good health and prosperity in the coming year. The other traditional foods that are served are dried fish for good health, herring roe for fertility, black beans for health/success, kelp roll for joy, lima beans for wealth, a fish cake for patriotism/honesty, herring to honor your parents and sake for good luck.

We also include a lot of other foods that are nontraditional, as you can see in the photo. Ultimately, the best part of the holidays is being able to spend time with my family.

What's your favorite holiday memory?