Kagami Biraki - Ceremony

Ceremony

The ceremony nowadays is also performed at weddings, sporting events, opening days at new companies, and other significant events worthy of being celebrated.

In Japan, mochi was traditionally made at home, but most families today buy it ready-made. Over the holidays, a pair of round mochi (kagami mochi) the size of small plates -- one a little larger than the other -- is stacked on a stand and placed in a household Shinto or Buddhist altar or tokonoma as an offering to the deities that visit on New Year's. The ornamental mochi is removed on January 11 and broken into smaller pieces before being eaten.

By this time, the kagami mochi is usually quite brittle, and cracks appear on the surface. The mochi is not cut with a knife, since cutting has negative connotations (cutting off ties) and is instead broken with one's hands or a hammer.

Many Japanese martial arts dojo use the Kagami Biraki ceremony to signify their first practice of the New Year.

Read more about this topic:  Kagami Biraki

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