New Year traditions are very strong in Japan. In America there is much celebrating with friends, however in Japan New Years is more of a family holiday rooted in deep Buddhist and Shinto traditions. It starts with the temples ringing the bells 108 times to rid of us the 108 evil desires man has. Then continues has many flock to the shrines on New Years Day. (For a great overview of New Years tradition read this guide to New Year’s Day in Japan.)
Today, on the first, Christians gathered throughout the country to WORSHIP the one true living God, praise HIS name and THANK him for the ultimate blessing he has freely given us in Christ his Son. We pray with our Japanese brothers and sisters for this nation to see God’s blessings and grace are free to those who repent and believe. We pray for Spirit to continue to work mightily in 2015!
From our Shiga Church Family to yours Happy New Years!