Today Hari Kuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles, in the Kanto region of Japan. Women take time on this day to visit shrines and temples to give thanks to their needles for their year’s worth of service and also to pray for a defter hand in the coming year.
Women dress in their kimonos and take their needles and pins to a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple to be carefully placed in a soft block of tofu. The needles have worked hard and they deserve to rest in a soft, gentle surface as thanks for all work and burdens they have carried. It is believed that the needles absorb the cares and sorrows of the needlewoman as she works, so they have more than earned their rest.
Hari Kuyo is a way to honour one of those small tools that we use every day but don’t really think about it. Needles may be an inanimate object, but they do bring so much pleasure to the lives of those of us who are lucky enough to stitch and sew for enjoyment. And, if your livelihood is made via your needles, they are even more important. So, if you have a chance, say thank you to your needles today.