Osechi 御節料理 is characterized by an array of colorful dishes packed together in special boxes called Jubako重箱, which are eaten communally on New Year’s Day. Since New Year’s is a time for rest (especially for wives) in Japan (according to tradition, nothing should be cooked on New Year’s Day), preparation of Osechi is typically finished before New Year’s Eve. Many of the dishes are either dried or contain a lot of sugar or vinegar to preserve the food and enough is made to last a few days. (For 3 days 三が日)
Osechi is arguably the most important meal of the year, each dish serving as a symbol or wish for the coming year. The food is even eaten in a special way by using chopsticks that are rounded on both ends; one side for humans to use, one side for the gods. Let’s take a look at the meanings behind some of the traditional Osechi foods.
Check this website which is explained in detail what each of the items in Osechi Ryori symbolizes and the meanings.