Bonenkai, which translated literally means meeting to forget the year, is a Japanese party to be held at the end of the year, with the particularity of being made between colleagues or friends. In this party, usually a lot of alcohol is consumed, but not in order to just get drunk, but rather with the intention of leveling the relationship between managers and employees.
This is because, although the Japanese have always been a very emotional people, as exemplified by mono no aware expression (empathy for things), are more reserved in expressing their feelings to others, especially those between different positions in a company. So through Bonenkai it is publicly demonstrated gratitude for each other.
The Bonenkai has roots in the Muromachi period (sec. XIV to XVI) when at the end of the year, people gathered and celebrated as thanks for each other. This party was called Noukai, or the feast of great deeds. Later in the century. XVIII, with the world changing, the party was renamed Bonenkai within the current festive parameters.
This festival usually take place at specific restaurants, izakaya, but to reduce costs, many Japanese companies choose to achieve it on their premises. When they do a restaurant, companies try to have good prices, usually not more than 5000 yen, or € 35, this is because the intent of this party is not a luxury party but that will allow the largest possible number of people go, enjoying a good environment between management and employees.