New Year Greeting Cards Messages

December 15, 2012


New year greeting cards


Seasonal holidays mean greeting cards. While sending greeting cards in the post is common for most American holidays and special occasions, New Year’s is the one time of the year when Japanese people uniformly engage in this form of expression. Well, sort of. Instead of selecting from a wide range of sentiments and artwork, Japanese people mainly share a single type of seasonal postcard with a very special feature.

Japanese New Year’s greetings cards double as lottery tickets. Lottery numbers are printed on the front of every card, at the bottom. Everyone hangs on to their greeting card until a national, televised drawing occurs during the middle of January. Top prizes include getaway trips and home electronics, think TVs and digital cameras. The lowest prize is a set of postage stamps. This is all very fun and exciting for us!

While the lottery number is on the front, the back is left blank. Here it is customary to write a personalized message. “Happy New Year” in Japanese is 明けましておめでとうございます Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. This is the most common greeting but there are some variations.

— 謹賀新年 Kingashinnen
This can be used to any recipient, but it is very common to use this phrase when the sender is a company, instead of an individual.


— 謹んで新春のお喜びを申し上げます Tsutsushinde shinshun no oyorokobi o moushiagemasu.
Common phrase when the sender wants to be very polite to his/her superior.


— 賀正 Gashou
This can be used to any recipient.


— 迎春 Geishun
This can be used to any recipient.

You can also add a personal message. A common message goes something like, 昨年は大変お世話になりました。今年もどうぞ宜しくお願いいたします。Sakunen wa taihen osewa ni narimashita. Kotoshi mo douzo yoroshiku onegaiitashimasu. “Thank you for your great support during the last year. Wishing for a continuing friendship this year.” As always, you want to be polite and show humbleness and gratitude.

It is also common to draw a picture of the animal currently represented on the Chinese astrological calendar. This is called 干支 eto. The eto for 2013 is “the snake”. So if you’re in Japan, you’ll see cute little drawings of snakes on almost every New Year’s card prepared for Jan 1, 2013. If you’re not an artist type, you can buy pre-printed postcards. You can choose whichever eto design you like.

New Year’s postcards are delivered on January 1. The Japanese postal service encourages people to bring their postcards and put them in the special collection box by mid-December. The Japanese postal service then works very hard to sort all the cards in order to deliver all at once on January 1, nationwide. So start practicing your best eto, learn your favorite Happy New Year’s greetings and get those lucky greeting cards in the collection box!

Source: www.livinglanguage.com

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