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Shrine Maidens Welcome New Year with Colorful Mayudama Cocoon Balls in Atami, Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Miko shrine maidens decorate cut tree branches with colored mayudama cocoon balls at Kinomiya Shrine in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Miko shrine maidens decorate cut tree branches with colored mayudama cocoon balls at Kinomiya Shrine in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, where silk cultivation used to thrive. Mayudama symbolize wishes for safety at home and prosperity in business. The shrine prepares about 500 branches with mayudama in six colors and other decorations for worshippers coming to the shrine during the New Year holidays. “We make them while praying that the New Year will be brighter and more colorful than the last,” said a shrine maiden.