初詣(はつもうで) - hatsumode
Hatsumode is the first visit to a Buddhist temple or a Shinto shrine during the shogatsu period to pray for good luck for your family, success at business, and so forth. In ancient times, people used to visit their tutelary gods called ujigami, but most people prefer to visit well-known temples and shrines now. They throw money offerings called saisen into offering boxes, and then pray for good luck for the year. They also draw something like lots called omikuji, in which the god tells their fortune. Many people purchase talismans (omamori), Dharma dolls, and exorcising arrows called hamaya for luck. Hatsumode begins at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Well-known shrines and temples are crowded every year with the large number of people who visit during the first three days of the New Year.