Christmas is well and truly over in Japan. From the evening of the 25th of December you can see shops wasting no time taking down their displays – being a commercial event over here you could consider it little more than point of sale.
Over the next few days, these curious looking objects start popping up in front of shopfronts and for sale in stores…
They are called Kadomatsu, and are traditionally placed in pairs in front of homes or businesses to welcome ancestral spirits. They are put up after Christmas and remain until the 7th of Jaunary.
Usually constructed of pine and bamboo and wrapped in a straw mat and rope, they are considered a temporary home for said ancestral spirits. The three bamboo shoots represent Heaven, Humanity and Earth (Heaven being highest and Earth lowest). They are placed in pairs either side of the entrance to your home or business, representing Male and Female.
Do you have any interesting New Years traditions where you are? pretty much devoid of them in the UK aside from a weird song which we probably nicked from the Irish.