On our first day at school, we had special culture lessons instead of language courses. Apparently the third of January still counts as new year holiday. We got the special new years food to try and were explained the meanings behind it. For example you eat golden chestnuts to have enough money the next year (not huge amounts but enough), fish eggs are for lots of children, the fishcake was about something with the sunrise, and konbu was to be happy. There were other things too, but I don’t remember.
They explained the different types of decoration and where to put them and we got a short calligraphy lesson. With the special paper, ink, and brushes. It was a lot more difficult than I though.
And of course you have to play different games for new year. Some kind of badminton with wood paddles for example. The one we played in class and later had a competition in, was to assemble a funny face (to attract luck by laughing). You have got the outlines and then eyes, mouth, nose, and so on as separate parts. One person is blindfolded and the others have to tell that person what he is holding at the moment and where to put it. The outcome often is quite modern art-ish.