Unlike other religions, where all the sacred items are carefully preserved over the years, the Japanese Shinto tradition requests every year, around the New Year, the replacement of the amulets, charms and New Year’s decorations (which are also considered amulets).
Of course, there are strict rules regarding the replacement: the charms and amulets are never thrown away, they are brought to a shrine (preferably the same from where they were bought), to be burned in a ritual fire called Dondo-Yaki.
But like most of the Japanese religious events, the burning of the charms is also an opportunity to have fun and good time. The fire is an attraction by itself and some of the burned items are adding to the spectacle: the large Daruma Dolls are randomly exploding with loud “bangs", sometimes being projected out of the fire…
Click on photo for higher resolution:
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: