Japan is a land of traditions. The language is full of double meanings and rather than making puns into jokes, they are embraced in the ways holidays are expressed. Of all the holidays, New Years seems to get the largest dose of tradition.
These are shown in the door decoration. Over the past 50 years, the decorations have become more commercially made, sold all assembled and wrapped in plastic, ready to hang . I would guess that most of the younger generation would not know how or what (or even why) these decorations are made.
Each little item in the arrangement has a meaning and the decoration itself seems to have a lot of Shinto or Buddhist background.
I find it interesting that my husband, a third generation Christian, is particular about putting out the decorations by the "right" day, or for that matter, taking them down on the "right" day.
Often I think of how poorly Christianity has been accepted by the Japanese and wonder if some of that reason might be that they feel they must throw out all the traditions, many of which have Buddhist or Shinto roots.
My little granddaughter celebrated her "Shichi-go-san" by donning a kimono and being blessed at a temple. Where does religion leave off and tradition take over?
The Meiji Shrine at the end of the decorated boulevard, in my last post, will be crammed with people on midnight December 31st, waiting to rush in at the stroke of 12 and toss a few yen onto the conveyor belt, cap their hands and write their wishes to be left behind or buy a fortune paper (which will be left tied to a tree branch if it isn't positive). The atmosphere will be one of frenzy but hardly with a feeling of much more than tradition fulfilled.
As for me, it is nice to spend some quiet days, curled up under a warm quilt while I work on quilting the small blocks.
Once I have those done, I will figure out how to do the large ones.
I am quilting the border flowers with colored thread to match the flower centers. I am happy to be using my Aurifil thread which I received from Mme Samm.
No Scouts this week. No Choir practice this week. Leftovers in the fridge and lots of happy quilting. Seems like a good way to end the year.