What do people do on New Year's Eve?
New Year's Eve is an important day rapping up the old year and preparing for the coming year.
Decades ago, preparations for the New Year kept people very busy making rice cakes and special New Year's dishes called osechij, but nowadays many households buy them at stores.
At that time it was customary for a family to have dinner together after they had finished preparing.
They listened to joya no kane, or the watch-night bell tolling at midnight, and stayed awake till the morning of the new year.
In some regions, there is a saying that one's hair turns gray if one sleeps on New Year's Eve.