Happy New Year 2019 !!!


We joined the countdown party on New Year’s Eve  

Happy New Year!


How was your New Year’s Eve and what did you do?


I have been spending the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in the US for these several years.


So I have not celebrated the New Year in the Japanese style for a while.


Americans do not have any habits like watching “Kohaku Uta Gassen”, eating Soba noodles or

visiting a shrine to pray for the New Year.


By the way “Kohaku Uta Gassen” is a very popular TV show which is broadcast on the New Year’s Eve. 


The show is basically a contest between male and female popular singers. 


After the show, we eat Soba noodles called “Toshikoshi Soba” which symbolizes long life.


This time, I am going to write about the typical way to celebrate the New Year

in Los Angeles, California.


Some people spend at the end of the year with family or friends.


However, many people celebrate at a countdown party, I think.


In the last few years, we had been celebrating at a restaurant which served wonderful Asian food

close to our home.


We had dinner listened to live music and then we did the countdown.


Unfortunately, that restaurant closed 2 years ago.


So this time, we went to another restaurant in Santa Monica to join their countdown party.


This is the restaurant called “1212” which we joined the countdown party.


The traffic was light so we got to the restaurant at 9:30 PM 


It was too early!


The ground floor changed to a dance floor when the staff took away the tables and chairs.


Decorations ware wonderful!


Ground floor changed to a dance floor.


We drank wine and beer for more than 2 hours.


Before I knew it, the restaurant was packed. 


The dance floor was like sardines!


Finally, the countdown was started 


The restaurant showed on a big screen the “Ball Dropping” from New York City.


Together we counted 10 seconds before 2019. We were all going wild.


As you know, there is a time difference of three hours between the West Coast and the East Coast.


So New York welcomed the New Year earlier than Los Angeles.


Basically, for most of these kinds of countdown parties, the restaurant plays the TV network scene

which was recorded three hours earlier in New York City then.


We welcome the New Year watching a big screen and we counted 10 seconds together

10, 9, 8,7, 6,5,4,3,2,1 Happy New Year !!! 


This is video which I took the moment of greeting 2019   ↓     ↓     ↓


People hugging, kissing and popping noise makers!


Thus we greeted the New Year, 2019 


What is American doing on the New Year’s Day?

In Japan, people celebrate the New Year’s Day by eating Osechi ryori.


The photo below shows traditional food which we eat on the New Year’s Day.


Then we go to a shrine to pray for the new year.


Japanese traditional food for New Year’s Day called “Osechi Ryori”.


I often get asked that what American people do on the New Year’s Day.


The answer is Nothing special! 


However, many people watch college football championship games on television on New Years Day.


Thanksgiving or Christmas are important events, but New Year’s Day is just like a weekend.


Actually, there is a unique event which we can see in only in the Los Angeles area on this day.


However, on television, this parade is seen all over the country and worldwide, too.


The event is called ”Rose Parade”


What is “Rose Parade”?

Rose Parade is an annual parade held in Pasadena which is located 10 miles northeast of 

Downtown Los Angeles. 


It usually begins at 8:00 in the morning and it goes along Colorado Blvd for a 5.5 miles route


This event is produced by the non-profit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.


This association was started in the 19th Century by Charles Frederick Holder who was a naturalist

and writer.


He said “On the opposite side, the East Coast especially in New York, people are buried in snow.

Here, our flowers are blooming and our fruit trees are bearing. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about

our paradise!”


They started this unique event with flower-covered floats, marching bands, equestrian units

and a polo match in 1890.


Also, they start to judge each float and gave some awards.


Upon seeing the scores of flower-covered floats, Charles decided to suggest

the name “Tournament of Roses”


In the beginning, they held a polo match. But later in 1902, they changed to a football game.


Nowadays, after the Rose Parade, the college championship football Rose Bowl Game is held is in the famous

stadium called “Rose Bowl”.


This football game has a nickname. “The Granddaddy of Them All”  


Because it is the oldest college football championship game in the US.


This year the game was held between Washington States University and Ohio State University.


Ohio State University won the 28-to-23.


And I am glad that Honda has been a sponsor of the parade since 2011.


Honda sponsored the Rose Parade television broadcast.



What goes into the Rose Parade in 2019?

This year was the 130th time for this event.


More than 80,000 hours of combined manpower is provided by 935 volunteer members.


I learned that a huge number of volunteers spend such a long time to prepare this great event.


This year they presented 40 flower-covered floats, 21 marching bands, and 18 equestrian units.


I was surprised that Chaka Khan showed up and she was singing!


Chaka Khan. It is been a while to see her.


After she sang, floats and marching bands were coming out after the other.


Every one of the flower-covered floats was beautiful.


On television it was nice, but it must be gorgeous to see the parade in person. 


About a million people see the parade in Pasadena from bleachers and sidewalks.


This is Trader Joe’s float. Covered with colorful flowers.



This a motif of a Japanese garden.


And I was surprised that a marching band showed up which came from a Japanese High School

from Izumo!


Japanse High School marching band from Izumo city.


A cheer went up from the audience!


One of the equestrian teams.


And there was another little topic connected to the Parade.


Every year the Rose Parade management holds another event prior to the parade, where they choose a

“Queen” of the Rose Parade. 


 The woman who has to be 17 to 21 years old and was born in the local area.


Applicants who participate are from 24 Pasadena-area schools. 


The selections are made by volunteer members of the Tournament of Roses and Court

committee based on a number of criteria. 


These include public speaking, ability, academic achievement, youth leadership, and community

and school involvement.


This year a woman whose name Louise Deser Siskel chosen as the Rose queen.


She is Jewish, wears glasses and is a bisexual person.


On the right side person is the woman who was chosen as a Rose Queen for 2019, Ms. Deser Siskel

(From Los Angeles Times)


Newspapers and other news reported about her as a courageous person. 


She broke the tradition.


Some specific information about Rose Parade 2019 is from the link below     ↓    ↓    ↓



The new year, 2019 has started.


By the way, did you make any resolutions for this year?


My resolution is “Challenge” and “Move on” 


Thank you for reading my blog today as well!


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