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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve!

It is New Year's Eve here in Japan. My husband and sons are gathered around the TV watching the television variety show marathon that all of Japan watches on New Year's Eve. It starts from 6:30 and goes past midnight. All the acts that are invited to be on the show (musical and comedy) consider it to be the honor of the year. I find the musical acts insipid and overwrought, and the comedy veers towards slapstick, so that whole thing bores me. But my three guys are in there howling away. I usually get a book and curl up on the couch next to them, and try to ignore the show.

At midnight many people try to be at a temple to hear the bell ring 108 times. We don't go to that, and actually can't hear it from our home -- we are in close proximity to several Shinto shrines, but not to any Buddhist temples. Luckily we can hear the 108 tolls of the bell helpfully provided on television.

While we are thinking about the year starting and years passing, here's something fun: the OED Birthday Word Generator.  Discover an English word whose first known usage was in the year of your birth.

Happy New Year to all!

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