“I’m not sure exactly when this hospital became more concerned with private donations, or saving our own asses, but just an FYI it used to be a place where job #1 was saving lives. I won’t be any part of this… I’m out.”
Gobekli Tepe, which is 6,000 years older than Stonehenge, may be the world’s first temple. It’s estimated to have been built before the invention of the wheel, the idea of farming, or the tools that could have constructed it. Basically, it shouldn’t even exist. Source
Garni Temple, Armenia. First century Hellenic temple, the only pagan temple in Armenia that survived the Christianization of the country in the early 4th century. It is also the only “Greco-Roman colonnaded building” in Armenia and the entire former Soviet Union.
Bringing in the New Year with Japan’s Hatsumode Tradition
For more photos and videos welcoming the new year with Japan’s hatsumode tradition, browse the #初詣 hashtag and explore the 明治神宮 location page.
In Japan, the place to be at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve, and the several days that follow, is a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple. That’s where millions gather for hatsumode— the first shrine or temple visit of the new year. People line up to pray for happiness and health in the year ahead, toss small amounts of money in the offering box, and purchase charms. Paper fortunes called omikuji are handed out, making predictions for the coming year on all matters, from health to business to travel to love.
“Every year, I go to hatsumode at the local temple on the fourth day of January—it’s been our family tradition for over 20 years,” says Tokyo Instagrammer Yoshito Hasaka (@_f7). “While the monk recites the sutra, I close my eyes and pray for many things including my family and my work. This year, I’ll also wish for good things to happen through Instagram.”
One of the most popular places to visit for hatsumode is Meiji Jingu (明治神宮), a Shinto shrine in Tokyo. It draws as many as three million people the first few days of the new year.
For a closer look at hatsumode traditions, explore these shrines and temples across Japan: