Festivals & Fairs / Everyone has their New Year’s tradition, whether it’s setting off illegal aerials and blaming it on your neighbor, making resolutions that you swear will last longer than last year’s (four days), staying up to watch the first sunrise with someone you love or going to a temple to receive your fortune. As the most important holiday in Japanese culture, it comes as no surprise that Honolulu residents celebrate oshogatsu, Japanese for the New Year, with hatsumode, a visit to a shrine paid within the first three days of the year.
Next Tuesday, welcome the New Year with complimentary bowls of Ozoni mochi soup (served between midnight and 2 a.m. and 10 a.m.–1 p.m.) at one of the most popular area events, Hatsumode 2013, at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha–Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu. “We also have the traditional shishimai lion dance and a taiko performance (10 a.m.) to welcome the Chinese Year of the Snake,” says Irene Takizawa, coordinator of the event. “We’re known for our Hawaiian-themed omamori amulets and thousands of Japanese tourists will visit the shrine to receive them.” Japanese or no, feed your good fortune by heading down. After all, we need all the help we can get, right?