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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogLucky Charm: Cutest Ones to Pick Up in the New Year!

Lucky Charm: Cutest Ones to Pick Up in the New Year!

By Thalia Harris
December 28, 2023
A Hagoita paddle, which is a common good luck charm in Japa.

As the New Year knocks on the door, have you ever wondered about the unique items that can make your journey ahead even more magical? Are you ready to dive into the lucky charm-filled adventure the New Year has in store for you? Let’s take a closer look at these fantastic lucky charms.

Senbazuru

Senbazuru are dazzling garlands of one thousand origami paper cranes! They have a fantastic history, and people worldwide love to join in the fun. It’s not just about folding paper; it’s about spreading good vibes, unity, and joy. Imagine it as a super cool way to send a message of love, compassion, and strength – a reminder that we can handle anything that comes our way.

Garlands of paper cranes known as senbazuru.
Senbazuru are garlands of 1,000 paper cranes. Image via Shutterstock

But here’s the best part – senbazuru isn’t just for serious stuff. It’s a party essential! Picture adding these vibrant paper cranes to weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. They bring a pop of color, a touch of elegance, and a lot of fun!

So, whether folding a crane or marveling at a garland, remember that senbazuru is more than just origami – it’s a burst of creativity, positivity, and the remarkable human spirit!

Senbazauru garlands of color paper cranes.
A thousand paper cranes can grant people great fortune! Image via Shutterstock

With each fold, you’re not just creating art but part of a tradition about spreading happiness, peace, and good times across different cultures and generations. How cool is that? Get ready to fold, have fun, and spread the joy of Senbazuru!

Omamori

Omamori are unique charms that add a touch of magic to the world of Shinto shrines. Each is crafted with care and unique designs for protection or good luck. Some might bring luck, others keep you healthy, and some could help with exams or business.

A yellow omamori.
You can pick up an omamori at a Shinto shrine! Image via Shutterstock

What’s interesting about omamori is that they’re not just for looks – you’re meant to carry them with you. To get an omamori is an experience in itself. You choose one at a Shinto shrine and receive a special priest’s blessing. It’s not just about the charm; it’s about feeling a connection to something bigger.

Hagoita Paddles

Hagoita paddles are fancy rackets used in a game called hanetsuki, like New Year’s badminton! They’re crafted with cool designs and details, making them look like excellent pieces of art instead.

Each is a unique masterpiece, with bright colors, traditional patterns, and sometimes even pictures of kabuki actors or famous characters. It’s like mixing a sporty game with a big celebration of culture and creativity!

A detailed Hagoita paddle, with a geisha on its surface. This is a common good luck charm in Japan.
Hagoita paddles are for a game similar to badminton! Image via Shutterstock

What makes hagoita paddles extra interesting is that they’re not just for playing a game. People display these fancy paddles at home, turning them into cool decorations that carry good vibes into the new year.

And here’s the cool part – like collecting lucky charms or paper cranes, hagoita paddles can become a cool collection. Some folks keep them as special memories, passing down the tradition from generation to generation. So, when you hear about hagoita paddles, think of a fun New Year’s game mixed with art, culture, and good luck!

Are you looking for some cute accessories for the New Year? Check out YumeTwins! YumeTwins sends all kinds of kawaii character goods – from Japanese plushies to stationery – right to your door so that you can enjoy your best kawaii lifestyle on your way!

Hina Dolls

Hina dolls are unique companions girls receive as gifts in March during Hinamatsuri, a significant Japanese festival in spring. During Hinamatsuri, girls are presented with these graceful Hina dolls, transforming their homes into showcases of elegance. 

Two Hina dolls on a pedestal.
Hina dolls are family heirlooms. Image via Shutterstock

Dressed in traditional court attire, the dolls represent the emperor, empress, and their attendants, each one a miniature masterpiece adorned with intricate details and a burst of vibrant colors.

Throughout Hinamatsuri, families construct enchanting displays with multiple tiers of dolls, creating captivating arrangements that mirror the imperial court. It’s like crafting a miniature royal court at home, complete with a sense of heritage and sophistication.

Two Hina dolls. A Hina doll is a lucky charm.
Hinamatsuri is celebrated in the spring. Image via Shutterstock

Adding to their allure, Hina dolls often are precious family heirlooms!  Grandparents share them with parents, and parents, in turn, gift them to their daughters, weaving a beautiful tradition that connects the past with the present. So, when you encounter Hina dolls, just know they bring joy and good fortune into homes!

Maneki Neko

Meet the maneki neko, also known as the “beckoning cat,” – a unique figurine with many cool meanings in Japanese culture. People place this cute lucky charm in their homes, businesses, and shops.

Three maneki neko.
Maneki neko represent good luck, fortune, and protection! Image via Shutterstock

You might have spotted the maneki neko before – it’s that cat with a raised paw as if it’s saying, “Hey, come over here!” or “Good things are coming your way!” These cats come in different colors, each with its meaning. For example, a white Maneki Neko represents happiness, and a black one is for protection.

Even more interesting is that the maneki neko has different paw positions, each with a special meaning. If its left paw is up, it’s for attracting customers and clients, so you’ll often see it in shops. But if the right paw is up, it represents good luck and prosperity, and you’ll find it more in homes.

Why should I get a cute lucky charm for the New Year?

You should get a cute lucky charm for the New Year because it can bring positive vibes, good luck, and a bit of tradition into your life. Whether you go for the incredible senbazuru paper cranes, the fancy Hina dolls, or the beckoning maneki neko, each charm comes with a cool story and cultural importance beyond just looking cute.

A kagami mochi figurine.
What lucky charm would you like to pick up for the New Year? Image via Shutterstock

When you include these neat traditions in your New Year’s celebrations, you’re making your surroundings more joyful and connecting with the wisdom of cultures that have loved these symbols for a long time. Are you planning to get a lucky charm for the New Year? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Thalia Harris

Writer living in Tokyo who likes stories, music and video games. <3

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