As the New Year’s EVE dish, buckwheat noodle is common. We call it TOSHIKOSHI-SOBA(年越し蕎麦)- it literally means “year-crossing noodle”. We eat it to pray for longevity like the length of noodle.
We tend to relax at home on that evening after preparing for welcoming the New Year’s day. Many special TV programs are broadcasted, so watching them in a KOTATSU(こたつ)- one of Japanese heater which consists of a low table and a quilt, is the typical scene.
At many Buddhist temples, the bell is rung from just before midnight. People living near the temple hear peals. This bell is called JOYA-NO-KANE(除夜の鐘). The number of peals is 108. Each peal of the bell represents an earthly desire. As the bell is rung, one of earthly desires is displed.
Soon the new year comes around.