How did you spend your New Year's?
On New Year's Eve I always eat 年越し蕎麦 (Toshikoshi soba) which translates to "year-crossing buckwheat noodles". I've done this since childhood. Doesn't it look delicious?
Eating soba in New Year's Eve is a Japanese tradition, but I don't actually know how it became a thing in Japan. From what I've read, it's something that started during the Edo period (1603-1867; it was apparently a tradition at least in Osaka by 1814). There are many potential reasons why it became a thing. In wikipedia it says: that this custom "lets go of hardship of the year because soba noodles are easily cut while eating". That seems to be the most prominent reason, but other potential reasons exist: e.g. long noodles = longevity, buckwheat noodles can survive severe weather during the growing period = resiliency and so on.
I eat toshikoshi-soba at the end of every year because it has been a tradition. Tradition is an interesting thing. I read somewhere that every several years your body basically replaces itself (on a cellular level; replacement speeds differ depending on the part of the body). So I'm changing all the time but I still feel continuity in myself (in the form of consciousness/memory). I'm totally different from the child me (and I don't even really have the sense of continuity anymore because childhood amnesia), but to me this soba-eating tradition that I followed since childhood is one of the ways that connect my current self to my past self. Further to that, I feel like this connects my current self to all the people who followed this tradition in the 1800's.
And probably all of us thought it was delicious.
I'm Candice and I doodle with the intensity of the doomguy.