In Japan, you can see such a decoration like the picture above everywhere on the street at the end of December and beginning of January. It is called “KADO-MATSU” (門松), which means “pine tree at the door” when translated word for word. Like a Christmas tree at Christmas, this is the normal new year decoration in Japan.
KADOMATSU has a history of nearly 1000 years. People believe that the KADOMATSU will bring luck and happiness for them in the new year, as pine is a symbol of long life and luck. Usually KADOMATSU is a combination of pine, bamboo, and some other flowers. Bamboo is also a symbol of long life in Japan.
To set a KADOMATSU, you have to follow some rules. For example, KADOMATSU should be put in front of the door, not in the house. Also, it is said that it should be set up AFTER 31 December. If you do it earlier than that, the lucky God will not arrive in the new year!
With many people living in an apartment these days where there is not enough space to put a traditional KADOMATSU, hanging a KADOMATSU poster is enough to draw the lucky god’s attention.