January 10, 2010

Welcoming the New Year

Many houses and businesses decorate their front door with a Tama Kazari, which is a different type of Shime Kazari, during the New Year. Usually it's to keep the family safe or for good business.

Many people also decorate the entrance to their property with Kadomatsu. This is to welcome the gods into the house during the New Year, because in the old days it was believed that the gods reside in treetops. Decorating the entrance with a Kadomatsu is said to have started in the Heian Period. The Kadomatsu in the photo of this house is a simplified version that is popular these days.

1 comment:

Tall Gary said...

Ah, the top-right kanji says, “Within-the-House Safety,” instead of the car’s “Traffic Safety.” And it’s interesting that the first character—謹—is the first kanji on your New Year’s cards.

It is said that this custom goes back to the Heian period of 794 to 1185. How great that you can honor such a venerable custom.

Simple is nice—clean and easy to deal with. I remember the more traditional kadomatsu we can see here at Wiki.

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