Hatsuyume, the first dream of the new year

If you’ve ever spent new years in Japan, you know that it’s full of wonderful cultural details, like eating noodles at the shrine after midnight, drawing your paper fortune from a cardboard box, lucky bags, and the symbolic but not-so-delicious osechi breakfast. I didn’t spent new years at home this year, but when I do, I really enjoy all these little rituals. The one that sometimes throws me off is the hatsuyume, or the first dream of the new year. According to tradition carried forth since the Edo period, whatever you dream about on the night of 1/1 is indicative of the year ahead. If you dream about Mt. Fuji, eggplants, or hawks, you’ll have a particularly fortunate year.

Up until a few years ago, I used to spend most of 1/1 carrying a mental picture of Mt. Fuji, eggplants, and hawks in my head, hoping for a lucky dream. Not quite sure it ever happened for me as organically as it’s supposed to. Can’t remember what I dreamt about last night.

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