New Year celebrations in Japan are the much awaited period of the year. Japanese New Year decoration is marked by all the traditional items and pieces usually hand made.
This is a three day festival is celebrated with great joy and festivity.
Cleaning the house is the top priority for Japanese. The entire home, store and other living spaces are washed by the people. Japanese believe that New Year should be welcomed by bringing hygiene in and around living spaces.
After this only people change the window dressings, bedspreads and other things at home. It is treated auspicious to keep every free from dust and waste is thrown out of the houses. From this only the Japanese New Year decoration begins.
New Year decorative items in Japan
Kadomatsu – One of the very traditional Japanese decorations for New Year is done with Kadomatsu. It means ‘gate pine’ and these are placed in front of the homes for New Year. These are placed from Christmas till January 7 and are expected to welcome the ancestral spirits of the harvest. The spirits are known as ‘kami’ and kadomatsus are considered temporary houses (shintai) for them.
You can opt for different designs depending on the material you get. You can use bamboo, pine and ume tree sprigs to create your personal Japanese decorative item. These are the trees used for making the traditional piece because Japanese consider that these symbolize longevity, prosperity and loyalty.
You can make Kadomatsu to decorate your home in Japanese New Year style. The center of this is made with three large bamboo shoots. You can also, get plastic ones also. Decorating this beautiful Japanese New Year centerpiece is very similar to ‘ikebana’ which is Japanese floral arrangement. The shoots are arranged a different heights as, each signifies one feature. Heaven, humanity and earth is the sequence as, Japanese believe that heaven is supreme and earth the lowest position.
All the three shoots are tied with straw mats and newly woven straw rope. You can further, decorate it with flowers, stars, lights and colors. Many people place kadomatsu in pair on either side of entrance door – one resenting male and other female.
Mochibana – This is one of the very popular Japanese New Year decorations which are made at home. It uses willow branches with white and pink colored mochi wrappers. Shogatsu marks the welcoming of spring in Japan and this is the reason for using plum, peach and cherry blossoms.
People prefer using Mochi and not original flowers because these originated in Japan. These are found on the snow mountain areas during the winters which are known as ‘yukiguni’. These are usually decorated on the door and windows.
Other than these Japanese also, adorn their home with bells, red paint and coins. The traditional decorations have replaced by the modern ones. People are more inclined towards decorating with lights and artificial floral arrangements.
Wishing you all very Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed the read and get better ideas for creating your Japanese New Year decoration.