January 11, 2009

Kagami Biraki (Mirror Opening)/鏡開き

This is the kagami mochi (mirror rice cakes) that I placed at the kitchen counter on December 28 last year.

For more information on kagami mochi, click here.
You will see that the kagami mochi are not traditional, real ones, but a plastic container that contains some rice cakes (eight in the photo). The daidai (bitter orange) is not a real one, either. Such fake kagami mochi are now very popular.

Kagami biraki (literally, mirror opening) falls on today, January 11th. This is the day when the kagami mochi offered to the gods before the New Year (usually on December 28 or 30) are eaten by family members. My family had these mochi for lunch.
And, this is the ornament for the New Year that I hang on the front door.

Such ornaments are also removed on this day.
Edited to add: In some areas, ornaments are removed on January 7, and on January 15 in others.
Today, a festival called "saino kami" was held at the local Shinto shrine. In other areas, the festival is also called "dondo yaki".

Local people bring with them New Year's ornaments, kakizome (the first calligraphy writing of the New Year), and other items to burn, and they are given rice cakes and surume (dried squid) to heat over the fire.

No comments: