Mutsuki, the first month in the old Japanese lunar calendar

(Submitted on January 16, 2013, updated on January 7, 2022.)

The first calligraphy for the year. This photo was taken at a shopping mall in Center Kita (north), northern Yokohama on January 2, 2020. It says "laughter brings happiness"   


According to the old Japanese lunar calendar, the first month was called “Mutsuki”, which meant something like family gathering and feasting. The fifth of Mutsuki (January 5) was earmarked as the date of entering mid winter which would reach its peak around February 20. Incidentally, we just had the first snow (more than 10 centimeters) of this winter in Yokohama on January 14, 2013.


Did you know that this year is called the “year of the snake” according to the Chinese zodiac calendar? Creepy name? Well, snakes are revered by some as “gods of productiveness”, or “gods of climate”. Another point in defense of snakes – molting; it is said that the molting signifies “resurrection”. 

(PS. It’s the year of the tiger for 2022.)


Here are some photos from my album, which I took this month.








Family gathering on January 2,

2013, including some relatives






A decorated rice cake prepared for the New Year, which we usually eat on January 11, 2013.








The first snow on January 14, 2013.







This photo was taken on

January 7, 2022, a day after snowing. 

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