The most important day of the year for the Japanese is New Year, and with it comes certain traditions and ceremonies.
Why don’t the Japanese celebrate Lunar New Year like the rest of Asia?
Unlike the Chinese (and the rest of Asia), Japan does not celebrate the lunar new year. Japan’s new year holiday is every January 1st in alignment with western calendars. In fact, Chinese New Year is known as 旧正月, or “old/former new year.”
The Japanese switched to the Gregorian calendar in the Meiji era, when the entire country was modernized due to western influences. This is the era of the last samurai, of kimonos being traded for western dresses and suits, of guns and cannons in the battlefield. Since then, the western calendar has stuck.