Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます。
When I was little in Japan, on New Years Day, after a lunch of ozouni and osechi and receiving my otoshidama (gifts of money in small envelopes) from my grandparents, aunts and uncles and parents, I would go outside with my cousins to play a game sort of like badminton called hanetsuki, with decorated wooden paddles called hagoita and feathered shuttlecocks called hane (which means ‘feathers’). This bunny is decked out to do the same. Other New Years games included flying kites, spinning tops, and if it was snowing, making snow bunnies (yuki usagi), using evergreen leaves for the ears and red berries for the eyes.
2011 is the Year of the Hare or Rabbit (or just Bunny). Since I was born in the year of the bunny, it feels rather special to me - especially since the next time it will be a Bunny year, I’ll be pretty old. ^_^; In any case, here’s hoping that it will be a hoppingly good year.