Wednesday, January 2, 2008
A Shimenawa is a sacred straw rope used in Shintoism to indicated something is sacred and to ward evil. The rope is made from greenish rice straw with pieces of white paper hanging. On New Years day a special Shimenawa called shimenawa-kazari is hung above an entrance to a home to symbolize purification and welcome the new years gods. The New Years one has other things hung from it besides white paper. They hang oranges, lobsters, fern leaves, etc. the decorations depending on what they hang mean prosperity, good fortune, longevity, etc.