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Japanese rice cakes, typically made by pounding rice and making a paste to give them a round shape, makes for a new year delicacy.

My earliest memories of eating omochi was a few months after a reached Japan. I had begun to understand and respond to few basic Japanese words. My Japanese friend offered me one and when asked him what it was, in his broken English, he said, " inside beansteetoooUed beans in rice, you know?" Of course, I know red bean..Rajma!! I thought to myself and was happy that he was treating me to sort of a rice ball which had Rajma inside it! what could be a better for a Delhi girl!

But as I soon as I took a bite, I had to spit it out immediately. Not because it was unpalatable, absolutely not! But because I was expecting it to be a savory food, the way our Rajma is but to my surprise, the red bean paste that is used as a filling in omochi called Azuki, is rather sweet!

Omochi is also used to decorate the worship place(kamidana) inside homes as a decoration for Toshigami or the god of the new year to bring prosperity and good luck.

Kagami Mochi is created with two mochis of different sizes, placed on top of each other. An orange, known as daidai (代々)is placed on top of both. The kanji for 代々means generations to generations and signifies longevity while the two mochis signify the past year and the year to come. Kagami mochi symbolizes continuity of family ties from generation to generation.

The kagami mochi is then broken on 11th of Japan on a Shinto festival called Kagami Birake or opening of the mirror(since the shape of Kagami mochi resembles the mirrors used in 1300's).

On 11th of January, Kagami mochi is broken using a hammer or by hand in small pieces.

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