Soon after Christmas, Japanese people start preparing for the year-end and New Year's events. The official New Year("oshougatsu") has been celebrated on January 1st("gantan") In Japan. People decorate their houses with special decorations, eat soba noodles, send new year's cards, go to the shrine, watch the annual singing contest called "Kouhaku Utagassen"... All in all, new year's day is a very important day for the Japanese.