Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT) presents: Shogatsu, Japanese New Year, a gathering celebrating Japanese culture at the New Year, featuring activities for all ages including food, cultural games, a Japanese tea ceremony, and more. Bring food to share with others participating in the event.

O-Shogatsu is the most important festival of the year for many Japanese people. It looms large for many Japanese people as Thanksgiving and Christmas does for Americans in the United States. It’s a time for family and friends to get together and, like American New Year, a time to make changes in one’s life and bring in the new in a variety of ways. For Vermont, it’s an opportunity to celebrate for the whole community, neighbors, relatives, fellow townsfolk and to experience different cultures’ celebrations noticing the similarities and the variety that makes for differences.

Until the 19th century, Shogatsu’s occurrence was based on the lunar calendar. Since the mid 19th century, Shogatsu has been celebrated annually on January 1st. Sho 正 means first and gatsu 月 means moon or month. Shogatsu means ‘first month’ or ‘New Year’s.’

kadomatsu, the traditional Japanese decoration for entrances at the New YearAt left, the kadomatsu, auspicious decoration for entrances for Shogatsu, Japanese New Year, is fashioned from craft materials in an arts and crafts project to resemble a bundle of three decorated pieces of bamboo. This traditional Japanese auspicious decoration welcomes the harvest and is for prosperity, longevity and steadfastness.

Event information: Sunday, January 1, 2013, 1-3pm.

Location: C.X. Silver Gallery, 814 Western Avenue, West Brattleboro, VT.

Directions: I-91 Exit 2, right turn off the exit ramp, nine-tenths mile west on VT Route 9 (Western Avenue), just over the Whetstone Brook, in a white house on the left. Parking is available on the Avenue (careful if crossing the street).

For more information contact (802) 257-7898, ext. 1 or visit www.ACCVT.org. Email inquiries may be sent to Board Trustee Anthony Parmenter (anthony.parmenter@gmail.com) or Executive Director Adam Silver (adamsilvervt@gmail.com).