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January 3rd, 2011

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01:44 pm - My jaw hurts from chewing LOL
 3 days into the New Year already.

 Japan's New Year's is a lot more traditional than in Canada I think.  They kind of switch the activities for Christmas and New Year's around here, whereas in Canada Christmas you spend with family over Christmas dinner and then party on New Year's, here in Japan, Christmas is for parties (if you celebrate it at all) and then New Year's is with spent with the family eating osechii, going to the shrine and such.

According to Wikipedia, prior to 1873 the Japanese New Year was based on the Chinese Lunar Calender so they celebrated the New Year on the same day as the Chinese would celebrate Chinese New Year  (along with Korea and Vietnam).  After 1873 following the Meiji Restoration Japan switched to the Gregorian calender (or Western/Christian calender).  I feel lucky I celebrate both, twice as much yummy food to eat XDD

I went out yesterday to buy some groceries and holy crap there were so many people (with kids too @_@).  For the first 2-3 days of the New Year Japan has this huge sale (called Hatsuuri meaning first sale of the year) and almost every store has these lucky bags or grab bags known as fukubukuro (福袋) (you know, the kind where you don't know what's inside, but the value of the items inside are worth more than the price of the lucky grab-bags so people are willing to chance it).  Basically I think they do it to clear last year's inventory but it's kind of like Boxing Day in Canada and everyone goes shop-crazy.  Trying to get through the stores (heck even just trying to get to the stores) was like running an obstacle course.  I had to snake my way through the crowds, dodging kids, trying not to run over some little old lady/man or fall over some lovey-dovey couple.  Insanity man, seriously.

Anyway, even though it's only been 3 days after making my New Year's Resolutions I've noticed my jaw is really sore when I try to chew anything.  I think it must be because since I've been trying to eat slower I'm chewing my food more which means my jaw muscle it working more than before...lol, didn't see this problem coming when I made the resolution XDD

Today I made ozoni (雑煮) which is this traditional soup they drink in Japan on New Year's Day.  My friend made it for me on New Year's Day and she told me how to make it, it sounded really simple and was really delicious so today I made my own (even though it's not New Year's Day anymore).   Apparently there's a lot of different ways to make it and the ingredients you use in the soup can vary widely from region to region or even family to family, so I think I'm going to experiment with some different ingredients in the coming weeks :)

1.5 more days of R&R before I go back to work, better get cracking on those Criminal Minds episodes I downloaded XDD

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