January 15 is ko shougatsu (小正月), the end of the traditional New Year. The hago ita (羽子板) will finally be taken down and the countdown to spring will begin! As it’s the end of the New Year, today’s post will be about the Japanese way of celebrating a baby’s first new year, known as hatsu shougatsu (初正月, literally, “one’s first new year”).
This master post features all major ceremonial milestones for pregnant women and babies in Japan. A majority of these milestones have Shinto roots and are an important part of Japanese culture. The most recent event is listed first.