I love learning about traditions from around the world. Because of that I’m particularly grateful to my friend Mor, who told me about Japanese Kadomatsu just in time for me to post it here in this blog. Thanks, Mor!
Just after Christmas, and all the way through January 7th, according to Wikipedia, kadomatsu are placed on either side of one’s doorway. It’s a decoration whose name translates as “gate pine”, and it is used to welcome ancestral spirits, or “kami”, of the harvest.
To make these decorations, most commonly one would start with three large pieces of bamboo, about a meter tall. These three represent heaven, humanity and earth. This website (which includes several gorgeous photographs of different kadomatsu) also says that the bamboo symbolizes strength and growth, and if pine is used instead, it is a symbol of long life. Kadomatsu come in pairs, to represent the male and the female, and the kami, temporarily housed therein, welcome Toshigami, the god of the new year, who brings prosperity and good luck.
No matter where you come from or what your traditions may be, I think it’s safe to say that most humans wish to do whatever they can to start the new year right. This is but one delightful way to do so. It makes me happy that kadomatsu exist in the world, especially at a time when hope and positivity are so desperately needed.
An attitude of gratitude is what you need to get along. Read my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5