Suminuri Matsuri is a New Year tradition observed for more than half a millennium in a district of Matsunoyama, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. People adorn their homes and streets with decorations made of paper, tree branches, and bamboo for Oshogatsu, New Year’s Day. After the holiday they take down the decorations and burn them, keeping the ashes for the Suminuri Festival. People take their ashes outside and mix them with some snow, then rub the concoction on each other’s faces for luck in the new year.
Niigata Prefectural Government
Tourism Division, 4-1 Shinko-cho
Niigata, 950-8570 Japan
81-2-5280-5968; fax: 81-2-5283-4345
IllFestJapan-1993, p. 142