Toshikoshi soba (年越し蕎麦), "year-crossing noodle", is Japanese traditional noodle bowl dish eaten on ōmisoka (New Year's Eve, 31 December). This custom lets go of hardship of the year because soba noodles are easily cut while eating.
The custom differs from area to area and it is also called misoka soba, tsugomori soba, kure soba, jyumyo soba, fuku soba, and unki soba. The tradition started around the Edo period (1603-1867), and there are several traditions that long soba noodles symbolize a long life. The buckwheat plant can survive severe weather during its growth period, and so soba represents strength and resilience.
- Bill Daley, "New Year's Eve noodles: A savory end to the old year", Chicago Tribune
- Bill Daley, "A savory end to the old year: Soba caps busy New Year's Eve", December 29, 2010, Chicago Tribune