Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Year's at the cemetary?

Strange but true. As I explained in my last entry, bringing in the New Year was always an important celebration for our family, so we brought a bit of the tradition to my parents' and paternal grandparents' grave.

On January 1st Montreal was hit with a snow storm - only 20cm fell, but it was a pretty blustery 20cm. Driving was treacherous so instead of the 40 to 50 guests we usually have for our New Year's feast, were 11 brave (or a little crazy!) souls. All the food pictured in my last entry did NOT go to waste! LOTS of leftovers for everyone ☺

January 2nd's sky was a crisp clear blue. Blue like you can only get on a cold winter day in Montreal. The cemetary looked so pretty covered in freshly fallen snow - and then we traipsed in, ruining it! You can see JF below, starting to shovel the spot around my parents' grave.

You're probably wondering what we brought with us to leave at the cemetary. Below you can see the two white discs and a clementine (tangerine) piled on the wooden marker. These are mochi, or pounded rice cakes that are made and eaten at New Year's by Japanese and Nikkei (people of Japanese descent) around the world. This arrangement is called kagami mochi and the two piled mochi are supposed to symbolize the old and new years; I think the orange is supposed to be the sun (or the moon?). Smaller mochi are eaten in a special soup on New Year's morning, called ozoni. I also love it for breakfast or as a snack - delish! I'm sure the cemetary's resident foxes ate these ones much to the delight of my mom, who was a great animal lover !

And here's me with my tangerine colour jacket - hard to miss me! I was happy to be there ☺

With all that snow, Ebi the cat - my mom's cat - was pretty content to go and sit out on our front balcony. He and our first cat, Chibi, are taking their time learning to live with each other.

We are really happy to have him since it is like having a part of my mom with us; feels like he's really completed our little family. I'll write more about the cats' odd but slowly developing relationship in another entry. Bye for now!

1 comment:

Joanna said...

Oh, the kitty's so cute peering out over the snow like that! Mine decided he didn't like the snow-- like me, he's a Floridian and prefers to hang out inside until it's back above 40 degrees or so at least.