Garden State

The kadomatsu, or gate pine, is an arrangement of pine, bamboo, and plum blossom. It’s a traditional decoration for Japanese New Year celebrations that, when placed on either side of a house’s front entrance, wards off evil.

The pine in the arrangement represents strength, longevity, and youthful optimism, while the bamboo symbolizes resilience, uprightness, rapid growth, and filial piety. Though the plant leans in the wind, it doesn’t break. Apricot or plum blossoms stand for steadfastness in adversity, since both plants bloom in the winter seasons. Traditionally, the arrangements are displayed through January 7.

You can make your own kadomatsu on Saturday, December 28, at the Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 North Third Avenue. Kadomatsu workshops will begin at 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. and cost $20 for members or $25 for non-members. All materials are included. To reserve a spot, call 602-256-3204 or visit

Sat., Dec. 28, 10:15 & 11:15 a.m., 2013
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria