Japan in Photos – First blessing of the New Year
In Japan, it is traditional to start the New Year with hatsumode, the first shrine visit of the year. Families visit shrines and temples during the first three days of the year, often waiting in long lines to pray for good luck in the New Year. In addition, people purchase omikuji, which are paper fortunes detailing the recipient’s luck in the coming year. Whilst fortunes of good luck are kept, recipients of bad luck fortunes can tie their omikuji onto a tree branch or a designated area, so that any misfortunes that have been predicted can be left at the shrine.