Between Christmas and January 7th, on both sides of the entrance doors you will notice in Japan kadomatsu 「門松」, “gate pines", a beautiful New Year traditional Japanese decoration made to welcome the kami, especially the kami of the harvest.
Kadomatsu is made from 3 diagonally cut bamboo pieces of different sizes and pine or ume twigs tied together with a straw rope. Every kadomatsu item has a spiritual meaning: the bamboo is a symbol of strength and prosperity and the pine symbolizes long life. Also, the 3 bamboo pieces represent heaven (the tallest one), humanity (the medium one) and the earth.
Here’s a pair of kadomatsu photographed in front of a traditional restaurant from Tokyo. An interesting element, these kadomatsu are also decorated with small shimekazari, the decorations described a couple of days ago.
Travel tip: In Fukuoka, in Miyawaka City, starting with the first Saturday of December, takes place the Greatest Kadomatsu Festival in Japan. The festival lasts until the middle of January and the main attractions are the two giant kadomatsu made especially for the festival: 11 meters tall, with a diameter of 5 meters!
Traditional Japanese New Year Decoration, Kadomatsu
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: Renewing the good luck - Omamori replacing at Meiji Jingu