Newly braided "Shimenawa" sacred rope adorns the facade of the worship hall of Ushio Shrine
The priest ties "shide" paper strips to shimenawa. This is the finishing touch of the decoration.
Parishioners gathered at 8 a.m. to braid shimenawa on Dec. 10, the second Sunday of December.
First, they beat rice straws with mallet which makes them easy to braid ropes.
Second, they braided two kinds of ropes, thicker one for the worship hall and main torii gate and the other for the sacred cedar trees on the precinct.
This is the shimenawa for the worship hall, thickest and longest.
Everything should be purified!
For the parishioners, braiding ropes was not an easy task because we usually buy them at shops!
Defying difficulty with laugher and jokes, they finally braided five ropes in three hours.
Then, the ropes were purified by another priest to be sacred.
The god must be happy with this new shimenawa and ready to accept worshippers in 2017.
I'm sure this shimenawa has renewed the divine power and community bond for the coming year.
I'm looking forward to visit this shrine on New Year's Day.
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