Monday, December 31, 2012

Two new workshops with René van Rems for 2013

Five day hands-on Symposium

Five day hands-on Master Class


 This is the last blog entry for 2012 so I thought I'd write something about a floral tradition which is used at the end of the year in Hawaii.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of Kadomatsu is:
A kadomatsu (門松?, literally "gate pine") is a traditional Japanese decoration of the New Year placed in pairs in front of homes to welcome ancestral spirits or kami of the harvest. They are placed after Christmas until January 7 (or January 15 during the Edo period) and are considered temporary housing (shintai) for kami. Designs for kadomatsu vary depending on region but are typically made of pine, bamboo, and sometimes ume tree sprigs which represent longevity, prosperity and steadfastness, respectively. "The fundamental function of the New Year ceremonies is to honor and receive the toshigami (deity), who will then bring a bountiful harvest for farmers and bestow the ancestors' blessing on everyone." After January 15 (or in many instances the 19th) the kadomatsu is burned to appease the kami or toshigami and release them.

In Hawaii, the tradition of gathering pine (as in leftover Xmas trees, wreaths, etc.) and bamboo (cut from the forest) come together to create floral arrangements called Kadomatsu.  It is a very popular tradition whether you are Japanese or not.  The arrangements are usually displayed right after Christmas.
We generally start with 3 pieces of bamboo graded in different heights and cut the top at a slant.  These are usually bound together with cord, usually a rough, natural fiber and then they are set on a brick of floral foam and are surrounded by pieces of different kinds of pine.

Cut bamboo, tied and sitting on floral foam, waiting for pine.

Addition of pine.  

After the addition of pine, you can add flowers, such as football mums,  pompons, tropicals, anything which does not have thorns, such as roses.  Further decoration such as ribbon, pine cones, tassels, etc. may be added at this point.   Sorry, I neglected to take pics of these because I like it simple and organic with the pine and cedar.

Happy New Year to all, or as we say in Hawaiian, Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!!