新年あけましておめでとうございます。HAPPY NEW YEAR!
So December is bounenkai season (忘年会 -Year End Party: literally “Forget Year Meeting”) which means lots of drinking. I can only assume that the kanji is to elicit the fact that you drink so much that you’ll forget the past year.
But in all seriousness, Japanese business men (and women) do quite a bit of raising glasses. Particularly in large cities where public transit is not a problem. If you ever go out drinking with a businessman in Japan, do not be surprised about the after party (usually karaoke).
Or the after after party.
Or the after after after party.
Or the after after after after party ramen shop.
Now that it’s January, there will be New Year Parties (新年会), and the drinking will resume. That said, no matter where you are, please drink responsibly. Not only in drinking and NOT driving, but in taking care of your liver. Everything in moderation.
Until next time, STAY AWESOME!