The origins of the Bonenkai dates back to the 15th century as an event to give thanks to people. In the Edo period, it developed into the drinking party we know today. A year-end party is mainly held as a social gathering of friends and office workers. In Japanese society, where social rigor often prevents people from speaking freely due to social rigor, speaking out under the influence of alcohol is allowed in these occasions because it is forgotten the next day. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to see two people who are normally more formal in their interactions interacting lovingly in a relaxed atmosphere. Bounenkai are usually held during the month of November or December, often on Friday or Saturday nights to avoid the possibility of a hangover the next day at work. End-of-year parties are also held by groups of friends or companies as a special end-of-year gathering, so depending on the number of friends’ clubs and hobbies, you may attend more than one Bounenkai party. In addition to working people, old college friends, teammates (who play sports), and hobby clubs may also attend. In addition, as a working adult, you may be required to attend a company-wide party, a departmental party, a party within your own department or team, or other work-related parties held at various levels of the company. In order to get as many employees as possible to attend, the company usually pays for it. If the company doesn’t pay for it, it’s common for partygoers to share equally regardless of how much each person eats or drinks, and many people use this as an excuse to eat and drink as much as they want. Typically, this includes western restaurants, and Japanese restaurants such as nabe(hot pot) and izakaya(pub). Some companies with a limited budget may also choose to hold the event on company premises, which can save a lot of money. In this case, you can enjoy drinks, finger food and celebrations in-house. A more extravagant year-end party might include an evening party cruise that takes place in a luxury hotel ballroom or on a traditional Japanese pleasure boat called a yakatabune.