5 Outfits inspired by New Year’s traditions in Asia


 Audrey Magazine: 

Every New Year’s Eve, many families and cultures have their own set of traditions  to ensure good luck, good fortune and good health within the coming new year. Of course, we’ll be needing plenty of that.

We looked up some of the more popular traditions practiced amongst in Asian countries and drew inspiration for 5 New Year’s Eve outfits. They’ll have you feeling super stylin’ and extra lucky! Cheers to the New Year!



1. China — All Red Everything

Those who love red are in luck. In China, red is believed to symbolize good luck and fortune. It’s no surprise to see almost everyone dressed in all-red everything during New Year’s. This New Year-inspired outfit is dedicated to the sporty folks. Juxtaposition is the key here: a frilly lace top paired with your fave sneakers, and pulled together with a pair of boyfriend jeans. (Yass!)

(Floral Lace Top: H&M, Jeans Boyfriend fit: H&M, New Balance 574 Suede/Mesh Red Trainers: ASOS)



2. China – Lion Dance

Another tradition of Chinese New Year is the Lion dance where performers dress up like a lion and mimic a lion’s movements. Fittingly, this outfit is for those who plan to pull their fiercest moves on the dance floor. We wanted this outfit to be vibrant and lively just like the Lion. Taking into consideration that no woman would want to worry about a wardrobe malfunction while busting a groove, we opted for rich burgundy, velvet shorts.

(Layered Sweater with Sheer Fabric: ZARA, Nasty Gal x Nila Anthony Faux Fur Life Clutch: Nasty Gal, Stretch Velvet Tap Short: American Apparel)



3. Thailand – Talc Smearing

In Thailand, people celebrate the New Year with something called talc smearing. They douse each other with water (bust out the Super Soakers!), and throw grey or white talcum powder afterwards. We thought it’d be a great idea to create an all-grey look inspired from the festivities. The  key to pulling off a monochromatic fit like this is to play up the different shades of the grey, vary the textures and balance the fabric weights.

(Ribbed Asymmetrical Cardigan: Forever 21,  Box Pleated Culotte Pants: Forever 21, Madelyn Utility Blouse: TOBI)



4. Philippines – Polka Dots

In the Philippines, polka dots are a must for the New Year’s if you’re looking to strike it rich. Wearing polka dots and eating round fruits are said to guarantee wealth because it’s believed that the circles represent coins. For this look, we chose to keep the polka dots subtle by breaking up the pattern in a dress and purse with a simple structured coat.

(Leather Bag with Perforated Front Panel: ASOS, Women Flannel Printed Long Sleeve Shirt Dress: Uniqlo, Long Double Breasted Handmade Coat: ZARA)



5. Japan – Zodiac Dress Up

In Japan, people will dress up as the upcoming year’s zodiac animal and 2015 will be all about the Sheep. We wanted the highlight of this outfit to be a wool coat so everything else is kept nice and simple with a dark jumpsuit– a must-have closet staple. Not to mention, this outfit is very fitting for those celebrating in much colder climates.

(Faux Fur Coat: H&M, Gold Sheep Necklace: Etsy, Strapless Jumpsuit: H&M)


Mochi Deaths: Traditional New Year’s food proves deadly again in Japan

Naked men in loinclothes pound steamed rice into a mochi, rice cake to celebrate the New Year at the Kanda shrine in Tokyo on January 1, 2015. 

CBS News:

A traditional New Year’s food in Japan has made headlines again for claiming more lives.

According to Japan Today, the Tokyo Fire Department said Friday that two people died after choking on mochi, a rice cake that is especially popular to eat on New Year’s Day.

According to the newspaper, six people were hospitalized in the Tokyo area after choking on the sticky cakes and two of them died. The victims were both men, an 84-year-old and a 76-year-old, Japan Today reported.

Suffocation deaths are caused by mochi every year in Japan, especially among elderly people. The glutinous cakes, which are made by pounding rice, are extremely viscous. The cakes can become lodged in the throats of eaters whose saliva secretion may be compromised by old age.

Most of the deaths in Japan occur in January when the cakes are most often consumed.

According to the Tokyo Fire Department, mochi sends more than 100 people to the hospital every year in Tokyo alone. Between 2006 and 2009, 18 people died from choking on mochi in the Japanese capital, according to city’s fire department. In 2011, Japanese media reported eight mochi-related deaths in Tokyo in January.

Every year, Japanese authorities warn people to cut mochi into small pieces before eating it. The Tokyo Fire Department even has a website offering tips on how to help someone choking on the rice cakes.

The Guardian reported that one company, in a bid to reduce mochi-related casualties, developed a “safer” version of the cakes, which includes an enzyme that makes them less sticky.

Six non-traditional osechi New Year’s meals in Japan


RocketNews 24:

New Year’s in Japan is usually celebrated with family huddled under the kotatsu while munching on mikans, and sharing a dinner of traditional food, called osechi. Each component of the meal retains an auspicious meaning, granting the eater with good fortune, health, or fertility, among other things, during the coming year.

However, in recent years, an increasingly large population of Japan’s youth have chosen to forgo eating osechi. There are many reasons osechi has been disappearing from Japanese homes during New Year’s, but these changing tastes have given rise to a smorgasbord of strange, unique, and, frankly, comparatively tastier pre-made osechi meals. From cooked isopods to a box full of meat, let’s take a closer look at six modern day osechi.

Deep-sea fish osechi


So maybe this one doesn’t fall under the “tastier” category, but the “deep-sea fish osechi” from Clion Market features all types of ocean floor critters that have gained attention in the news this past year. Most notable are the underwater isopods, water snails, and several types of deep water fish, including the big-eyed kinmedai.


All that New Year’s fishiness can be yours for 21,600 yen (US$181)


Military-style osechi


On the outside, this osechi box looks tough as nails decked out in camo with the words “Japan Ground Self Defense Force” on the cover. But a first peek reveals something surprising…

▼ A normal osechi meal.


The second tier is more of the same. However, the third tier shows something different:

▼ Military provisions!


Hayashi rice, pork curry, and “delicious white rice” is lovingly packed in this military-style kit, perfect for doomsday preppers or people searching for a fun way to eat from a bag. You’ll just have to be willing to pay 16,200 yen ($136).

 Meat osechi

meat osechi

Who wants to eat boiled beans or herring roe when you could chow down on delicious marbled meat? Filled with nothing but the finest cuts of Japanese beef, this meatyosechi is perfect for the yakiniku lover. Four different boxes of various cuts of beef are priced from 10,000 to 20,000 yen ($84-$168).


Steamed osechi


Osechi is always served cold, often left out all day – one of the reasons its falling out of style in modern times. But this steamed osechi, which comes in a special box made of Japanese cypress wood, is perfect for those who want something warm to eat on a cold January morning. This high class meal includes fancy fare such as abalone, sea urchin, and foie gras and ham wrapped in cabbage.
Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 5.05.23 PM

As you might expect, such a luxurious meal will cost you; 37,000 yen ($311) to be exact!


Osechi x AKB48


Ah, AKB48, the idol darlings of Japan. The fresh-faced teens are teaming up to bring pop fans across the country an alternative to boring old osechi. There are two boxes to choose from, each containing the favorite osechi dishes of the most popular AKB48 members. And this wouldn’t be an AKB48 tie-in without freebies and a prize raffle! Everyone who purchases a box receives an osechi information pamphlet and a “Happy New Year video” featuring members of the group. In addition, 48 lucky winners will receive a cloth made from a costume of the member of their choice. It will also be signed!

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 4.16.30 PM

Sweets osechi


If savory foods don’t seem festive enough to ring in the new year, you’re in luck. Just order this “sweets osechi” and treat yourself to two tiers of Western-style desserts. All the strawberry mousse and roll cakes you see below will be yours for 21,600 yen ($181).



Which non-traditional osechi looks the most appetizing? Adventurous eaters and those with peculiar tastes are sure to order the box of deep-sea fish!


A 92-Year old Japanese woman embroidered an astounding collection of traditional Temari Balls


A 92-year old Japanese woman has amazed the world with her spectacular collection of embroidered traditional Japanese temari hand balls. We might not ever have seen them if not for her granddaughter, Flickr user NanaAkua, who posted the pictures of the whole collection on her profile. The nimble-fingered grandmother learned the technique in the 60s and, since then, her collection of marvellous temari hand balls grew to nearly 500 unique pieces.

This Japanese craft originated in China and has been stitched by parents and grandparents as a traditional New Year’s gift since the 7th century. NanaAkua’s grandmother’s collection is impressive with its hyper-detailed patterns, interesting structural compositions and vivid colours.

Source: Flickr (via: colossal)

Check out this link:

A 92-Year old Japanese woman embroided an astounding collection of traditional Temari Balls


How “Auld Lang Syne” stormed China



Revellers celebrate the new year following a count-down event at the Summer Palace in Beijing on 1 January 2013
The Chinese sing Nan Wang Jin Xiao or Unforgettable Tonight during the New Year

It is the simple Scottish folk song that has stormed the world. To mark the New Year, the unmistakable strains of Auld Lang Syne will be heard around the globe.

The song, written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns, is a firm favorite in the English-speaking world.

But perhaps less well-known is its huge popularity in China. The song is known as You Yi Di Jiu Tian Chang or Friendship Forever and Ever.

Most Chinese people could probably hum the tune and sing a few lines of it in Mandarin, but very few are able to sing the whole song. And even fewer have any idea about the song’s origins.

The song is frequently played at school and university graduations, other formal gatherings, as well as parties.

Man with traditional Scottish tartan holds a book with Robert Burns face on it at Burns Night in January Scottish poet Robert Burns penned the words to Auld Lang Syne

But as for the Chinese New Year, Auld Lang Syne, rarely gets a look in. The Chinese have their song to mark the occasion – Nan Wang Jin Xiao (Unforgettable Tonight).

But how on earth did the Scottish song catch on in the most populous nation on the planet?

A large part of the reason appears to be the Hollywood movie, Waterloo Bridge, made in 1940.

It was a love story set amid war. During one beautiful scene in Waterloo Bridge, the two stars of the film dance to Auld Lang Syne.

The film was hugely popular in China at the end of the Second World War. It was then revived in the 1980s when the film was dubbed for a Chinese audience and widely played in the cinemas. For an older generation, it is considered a classic.

It’s believed that because of the film, Auld Lang Syne is now widely taught in Chinese primary schools and high schools.

Check out this link:

How “Auld Lang Syne” stormed China