Most Japanese people enjoy several year-end parties with friends, colleagues and members of various social groups during December. The purpose of the parties is to forget all about the bad memories from the previous twelve months and to say goodbye to the passing year. These parties are usually held in pubs and restaurants. People have a good time eating, drinking and sometimes singing karaoke. A year-end party is considered a significant opportunity to build up a sense of fellowship and unity within the group.
Sukiyaki is an internationally known Japanese dish. It is one type of “nabe ryori.” The ingredients are thinly sliced beef, tofu, strips of devil’s tongue, shiitake mushrooms, chrysanthemum leaves and leeks, They are seasoned with soy sauce, sugar and sake and cooked in a cast iron pot at the table. When the ingredients are ready, they are dipped in raw beaten egg, which is served in small individual bowls.
Japanese have a gift-giving season in the middle of December, too. The year-end gift is called oseibo. This gift-giving custom is to show appreciation to those who have been kind and helpful in business or privately during the year. The gift items for oseibo are almost the same as those given for mid-summer gifts.