It is bonenkai season here. Bonenkai literally means "forget the year" party. To me, it is just an excuse for businessmen and women to get together and drink, most times to the point until they can't remember anything.
Though if you ask me, no year could be so bad that you need to drink yourself into a stupor.
Oh, and then at the beginning of the year, is the shin-nenkai or New Year party. This is when they again get themselves together to drink themselves into another stupor to get ready to work themselves silly for the next 12 months...I bet the hangovers aren't something they'd like to remember.