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Annual Events: ŌMISOKA


おおみそか is New Year’s Eve in Japan.

おおみそか is an important time to be thankful for the year past and to prepare to welcome the new year.

Many people spend おおみそか with their families, but nowadays some people go to countdown parties, travel over the vacation, and spend the day in many other ways. 

おおみそか PPT

Through the slides, students will learn a lot about what people do before おおみそか to welcome the new year and how people spend that day.

You can change the language in the slides to suit your students’ Japanese level. There is also additional information in the slide notes. Please refer to it as needed.

Have fun learning about おおみそか! 


Activity Ideas

Activity 1: Make your own ねんがじょう (a new year greeting card)!

Step1: Remind students what is typically found on ねんがじょう. 

As already learned in the “Ōmisoka PPT”, teachers can ask students the following questions, 

  Q1. What is ねんがじょう? (A: New Year’s greeting card) 

  Q2. What contents are usually included in ねんがじょう? (A: New Year’s greetings “あけま しておめでとうございます” and the zodiac animal of the year, etc.) 

Useful video:

Useful video:


Step2: Learn about じゅうにし (zodiac animals) from each year.  

Here are some materials to help.  

This juni-shi PPT is for learning zodiac animals’ name in Japanese and contains a chart to find to find the zodiac animal for each year.

Juni-shi PPT

This juni-shi cards, which can be printed on both sides, are to help students practice じゅうにし names 

Junishi_card (PDF)

This juni-shi colouring-in sheet (PDF) is also for learning and reinforcing the animals’ name in Japanese by tracing the hiragana names and colouring-in the animals’ illustrations. 


Step3: Learn some new year’s greetings 

“Happy New Year”: 「あけましておめでとう」 、「あけましておめでとうございます(polite)」

Additional “I look forward to spending time together this year” :「ことしもよろしく 」 、「ことしもよろしくおねがいします(polite)」


Step4: Create a ねんがじょう with greeting and じゅうにし of the year. 

Examples of ねんがじょう below,

Activity 2: Sing おしょうがつ (New Year’s Day) song

Sing the おしょうがつ song along with the video below and find Japanese traditional activities from the song.


Activity 3: わたしの おおみそか

Talk about how you spend おおみそか and compare it to the customs you have learned from the おおみそか PPT.

Ex.1)わたしは おおみそかに シドニーの 花火を 見ます。とても きれいです。

Ex.2)おおみそかに かぞくと おいしいものを 食べます。そして、いえで えいがを みます。

Additional activity: Watch video to learn more about じょやのかね (End-of-Year Bell).


Resource created by Hiroko Langdon (Oct 2023).

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