Hello Readers and Happy New Year! In Japanese, people greet each other for the first time using the stock phrase akemashite omedetō gozaimasu (明けましておめでとうございます) which means something like “congrats on the opening of a new year”.
Note that Japanese New Year is based on Chinese New Year, but since early industrialization period, the Meiji Period, Japan moved away from the lunar calendar to the Western solar calendar.
The traditions inherited from Chinese culture still persist, even if the calendar changed, thus the original zodiac is still in place, and the new year is still frequently referred to as “spring” even if it is no longer anywhere close to meteorological spring.
In any case, it might sound a bit early but Happy Year of the Rabbit!