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Celebrating the Japanese New Year in Barcelona

Written by Laura

The fact that Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city is no secret. The Ciudad Condal has always been the vanguard of Spanish culture and has been the home of many types of cultures and lifestyles, something that you can see in all corners of the city. One example of this is the celebration of the Japanese new year that has taken place for years in the Catalan capital, where the vast rich Japanese culture and history is celebrated. If you happen to be in Barcelona during this time of year, you may want to try to see some of the elements of the celebration taking place and learn more about the Japanese culture. Today in this article from ShBarcelona, we’ll be talking about the celebration of the Japanese new year in Barcelona. 

Related article: Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Barcelona

Celebrating the new year in the Japanese culture

Photo by PeterThoeny via VisualHunt

For years, the Catalan Association of Japanese Businesses has been in charge of organizing the celebration in the city, each time with growing splendor and success. This celebration is a way for the Japanese residents of Barcelona to commemorate this annual event, and also gives non-Japanese residents of the Ciudad Condal to familiarize themselves a bit with a culture that may be foreign to many people. If you are among the latter group of people, then don’t hesitate to check it out! If you have not found a place to stay in the city, we encourage you to view some of our options for vacation rentals in the city. In past years, this celebration has found its headquarters at the Hotel Meliá Barcelona, located by the emblematic Avenida Diagonal, an amazing place to visit no matter your purpose for being in Barcelona. As part of the program, the performance of the Japanese interpreter Chieko Kojima takes place. Kojima is an authentic teacher of the traditional dance of Japan.

Related article: Learn Japanese in Barcelona

Photo via Pixabay

Another way to get closer to the Japanese culture during this celebration is in the playing of traditional games. In different versions of this celebration there has been, for example, games of wanague, which consists of throwing rings and trying to get them to land on a board. There is also ninin-baori, a lively activity where one person attempts to eat the other without being able to see them. If you enjoy a temporary rental in Barcelona and it happens that you are in the city at this time of year, within this celebration of the end of the Japanese year – which this year is on the first of January – you can also participate in a number of other culture-centered activities. For example, you can explore the music of Japan, including the Japanese drums known as wadaiko, explore different types of Japanese  cuisine, or sample the delicious sake of Japan that can be enjoyed in many major cities. 

*Main photo by via VisualHunt

What else do you know about the Japanese New Year celebration?

About the author


American journalist living temporarily in Spain. Her passions include news and feature writing, Spanish language and culture and the outdoors.

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