2011年1月6日木曜日

On NY decorations

At New Year it is traditional to put up a rice-straw rope across your front door. It's a shimenawa made from rice stalks twisted together. There are regional differences in how these are arranged but around here they are hung up five rice straw ropes with a shide or zig zag paper decoration between each one.

Christmas Day Meg went down to the community centre with a spray bottle of water and cotton gloves to learn how to twist shimenawa. Unfortunately it was trickier than she thought and even with help from one of the army of senior citizen volunteers she could only make three in the allotted time.

She came home all disappointed as the older kids had told her she didn't have enough. I suggested she showed us how to make them and I'd help her make two more but she was rather over the whole experience so we left it at three.

K thought we shouldn't put them up as we didn't have enough. I wanted to put them up anyway as I felt Meg had put a lot of effort into it and wanted to honour that.

But it was Christmas and I was busy and I am a bit slap dash anyway so I didn't even take any tape with me and just stuck them through the door grill:


And left it like that when we went to K's mum and dad's in Fukushima for New Year.

When we got back K said our shimenawa were the talk of the neighbourhood at the big New Year's Party. They all thought it was some Fukushima custom they didn't know about. Oops. And apologies to the Fukushima folks who have been slighted by my slap-dashery.

Lucky noone saw my kagami-mochi attempt hey?

The real deal? Something like this:


Mine? Well we didn't have any mandarins and I didn't want to pull any green leaves from the garden as there's precious little green out there this time of year so this is what we ended up with:


Half points for kind of trying?

6 件のコメント:

gaijinwife さんのコメント...

OK, but only half points, and perhaps zilch for straw stuck through grates on front door. Bloody funny though - a new custom... you realize you'll have to do it next year now.

thefukases さんのコメント...

I know the straw was seriously slack and I would fix it up a bit but it comes down to be burnt tomorrow and I only found out it was being talked about last night... The lemon mochi is actually an improvement as we usually just eat it. Terrible terrible me....

Judith さんのコメント...

LOL. That is hilarious! I'd be careful, people might start to think that you are mocking them ;-)

anchan さんのコメント...

Actually, I think you deserve bonus points for actually taking the extra effort to make your own instead of just buying them at the local shop!And knowing you, that&ll be home-made mochi...

Kim さんのコメント...

the kagami mochi---TOOOOO funny!!!!!

Gina さんのコメント...

I agree, I think you deserve lots of bonus points for it being homemade too. : ) Ours on our front door was just a cheap little store bought one. ; )