Saturday, December 05, 2009

Tie a ribbon on the tree

Every night between now and January 7, visitors to the Paseo de Marianas are invited to tie a ribbon on the giant Christmas tree made from aluminum cans. The ribbons come in five colors, pink, to show support for the Marianas March Against Cancer, yellow, to show support for Operation Homefront Support, green, for Beautify CNMI, blue, for the Autism Society, and red, for general holiday wishes.

I think most Americans (I'm including Chamorro-Carolinian Americans when I say that) have experience tying yellow ribbons to trees, but pink, red, blue, and green? Where'd that come from?

I garnered a guess the other night and got a grunt of agreement from Godfather's most distinguished Japanese regular.

When you visit a shinto shrine in Japan there are small pieces of paper with fortunes written on them for sale called omikuji . They usually cost about 100 yen. You can pull an omikuji out of a box or go through some elaborate method of choosing a number, which then corresponds with a particular omikuji, or something like that. To make the wish come true, or the fortune, or just for good luck, you then fold up the omikuji and tie it to something inside the shrine, either a tree or rows of string put out for the sole purpose of having omikuji tied to it, or something like that.

Anyway, you can head down to Paseo de Marianas any night this month, pick up a ribbon of your choosing, and write a name, a wish, or whatever you want, and tie it to the giant tree made out of empty aluminum cans.

The first day to tie a ribbon around a tree was this past Thursday, during the Christmas tree decorating contest lighting.

I chose a green ribbon.

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