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Just like how families in the west put lights on their homes and ornaments on trees for Christmas, Japan has its own traditional decorations for New Year’s. One of the most common is kagami mochi, a stack of two or three rice cakes topped with a mikan or daidai, both orange-like citrus fruits.

No one’s exactly sure why it’s called kagami mochi though, since even though the name literally means “mirror rice cake,” there’s no mirror included in the display. As a matter of fact, in the minds of some animal lovers in Japan, the design options for kagami mochi are wide open, as shown by this collection of photos where adorable pets take the place of the rice cakes.

First, just to make sure we’re all on the same page/disc-shaped rice cake, here’s what kagami mochi ordinarily looks like. Some might argue it’s a bit austere, but there’s no denying it’s very much in keeping with the simple, dignified style favored by classical Japanese aesthetics.

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And here’s what kagami mochi looks like with substantial increases to both its cuteness and cat quotients.

Since New Year’s is the most important holiday in Japan, some kagami mochi displays also incorporate flourishes such as decorative cords and papers. Many Japanese people also celebrate by wearing formal kimono. This kitty is combining the two traditions in a manner as elegant as its regal-looking appearance.

Of course, cats being what they are, not all of them are so agreeable to being enlisted into helping with the festivities.

The more obedient nature of dogs, on the other hand, makes them ideal assistants.

▲ “For my next trick, I’ll turn into kagami mochi!”

As a matter of fact, their penchant for teamwork means you can visually recreate kagami mochi using nothing more than a trio of pooches.

Still, they don’t seem to take to fancy duds quite as well as their feline counterparts.

But as cute as all these critters are, they aren’t exactly dead ringers for the mochi discs of real kagami mochi. For that, you’d need an animal that’s a little smaller, a little rounder in shape, and with a softer body.

Basically, an animal like this.

Anyone know how to say “Happy New Year!” in rabbit?

Source: Buzzmag
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