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New Paltz’s Gomen-Kudasai celebrates New Year with tenth annual mochi-pounding

New Paltz’s Gomen-Kudasai celebrates New Year with tenth annual mochi-pounding

In Japan, mochi is comfort food: sticky balls of rice with a satisfyingly chewy texture, topped with a variety of sweet or savory toppings. It’s also said to bring good fortune, so it’s traditional to serve it at holiday meals. The New Year is an extra-special time when it comes to mochi: Not only are you supposed to eat it, but you’re also supposed to get involved in making it. Pounding the rice, or mochi-suki, is a raucous group ritual meant to purge yourself of all the things that you want to put behind you in the old year.

Giving toys to Ulster kids brings joy to all

Giving toys to Ulster kids brings joy to all

Families began to line up outside the doors at about 11 Monday night, waiting in the cold for the doors to open the next morning at 9, where they could be ushered in from the cold to do their holiday “shopping” for their kids. This was not Black Friday and these weren’t the doors to the mall. Families were lined up and huddled in anticipation outside of People’s Place Food Pantry and Thrift Store on St. James Street in Kingston.