The year is coming to an end and it is time to send your best wishes to friends, family and co-workers. It is not only a common practice in Japan but also an integral part of the tradition. Those cards are called Nengajo (New Year Cards). There are a few things you need to know before sending Nengajo out though. First, it is not simply about sending farewell for the past year and welcoming the new one, it goes a lot deeper than that.
When sending out the Nengajo, you need to include the reasons why you are thankful to the people who will receive your card and how much you appreciate them being part of your close circles. There is a certain degree of sincerity required that is essential to writing and sending out these cards.
Nengajo is such an important thing to do in Japan that you can either write them yourself or download templates from the internet. These can also be done especially for you by companies providing writing and design services. Nowadays, you can take a photo of yourself and send it to online companies that will manga-fy your photo and integrate it into a manga strip that will then serve as your Nengajo. You can also design your Nengajo online through services offering lots of different characters to populate your cards and help you express your feelings to the receivers. Finally, most of those services make it really easy for you to prepare and send out your cards as they can operate and communicate your entire order through smartphone messaging services such as Line Messenger.
Photo Credit: nenga-kazoku.com
Design is important. If you know Japan at all, you will agree that Japanese designs are beautiful and adequate when it comes to the relationship between the sender and the receiver. You won’t send your manga-fied version of the Nengajo to your co-workers so make sure to browse all the card design services to match the type of design with the feeling you try to express. You can easily find classic, cute or funny designs that will easily answer your needs.
One more thing to know about Nengajo is the combination of posting and lottery. If you clearly mark on your card that it is a Nengajo, the Japanese post office will make sure that it is delivered on a specific day around New Year and it will be given a lottery number called Otoshidama. The post-office will choose lottery numbers and the holders of the cards with these winning numbers can visit the post-office and receive nice celebratory prizes.
Now that 2016 is ending, we need to look towards 2017 and thanks to Eastern Astrology, we can look forward to a great year. Next year, starting January 28th, will be the year of the Fire Rooster. This star sign has a few different aspects: it means that success will be possible with hard work but it will be an important year to spend with friends and family. It will also be a good time for single people to get married. Finally, it will be the most favorable year for Dragons and a great year for Snakes, Ox and Roosters.
No matter what, it is indeed a new year and before we get there, there is plenty of celebration to do. Until then, get your pens and cards ready and spend some time telling everyone around you how much they mean to you. In a country so busy with work and etiquette, it will be deeply appreciated.