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Annual Mochitsuki New Year’s Event Celebrates Japanese Culture in North Texas

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RICHARDSON, TX -- Traditional Japanese culture and customs were shared with the North Texas community on Sunday.

The Japan-America Society of Dallas-Fort Worth held its 16th annual Mochitsuki New Year's Celebration in Richardson.

The event featured taiko drumming, Japanese folk dance, ikebana, and of course, mochi.

"Mochi is a sweet, glutinous rice; it’s cleaned, washed and soaked overnight,” society member Mary Berry told NewsFix. “[Mochi] is steamed and then it’s kneaded into a dough."

"It has some kind of religious significance, and also it’s viewed to give you health, prosperity throughout the year.”

The event even included a demonstration of how mochi is traditionally made with a wooden mallet and granite bowl.

"There’s so many crafts, flower arrangements, dancing and  mochitsuki – that’s wonderful,” Misako Cook said.  "For Japanese people, we feel like we’re in Japan, and also, people who don’t know about Japan, they can get to know about Japan and we can exchange culture and just learn each other.”

The celebration drew a crowd curious to learn about the Japanese culture, and those who came to pay homage to their native country.

"It’s nice seeing organizations come out here today to help out and promote Japanese culture and awareness around the city of Dallas,” one attendee told NewsFix.