Festive Dishes for the New Year
Osechi is a celebratory meal cooked with the hope of a good harvest, of the safety of one’s family, and of fertility and prosperity.
Stuffing the dishes in lacquered boxes carries the auspicious meaning of “layering happiness.”
The basic style layers four boxes from the first layer up to the fourth layer, with the dishes inside varying by region and household.
The most common style is having three layered boxes. The first three days of the new year are meant to give housewives a break from housework, so the dishes are pickled or heavily seasoned to preserve well.