Loose-character/ユルキャラジゲン/Yurukyara mascot of fame, Kumamon the marvelous, is pounding in the New Year.
Kumamon pounding mochi (rice cake) with a mallet — a festive tradition in Japan. pic.twitter.com/lEvAMAfkgC
— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) December 27, 2018
Mochi/rice cakes (鏡餅 — Wikipedia) are a traditional Japanese New Year decoration consisting of two rounded mochi (pounded rice), the smaller placed atop the larger.
Kagami mochi is usually placed in a household Shinto altar (see right), or kamidana in the tokonoma, a small decorated alcove in the main room of the home.
Nowadays people skip all the pounding and go to the store to buy mochi/rice cakes. These cakes are often pre-moulded into the shape of stacked discs, made in plastic packages for the mass market, and sold as a holiday decoration much like a plastic Christmas wreath.
Our previous reports of mochi rice cakes include:
- Bunny pounding mochi (3Yen / 2011-05-23)
- Waffle/mochi rice cake??? (3Yen / 2008-03-18)
- Japan’s Rabbit-in-the-Moon (3Yen / 2007-11-14)