Omikuji - a hope for good fortune
You can find omikuji at many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. After making a small offering (usually of money), you shake a box filled with numbered sticks until one falls out of a small hole. You exchange this stick for a small piece of paper, with a fortune written upon it (nowadays, omikuji are also sometimes dispensed by coin-slot machines).
If the fortune is bad, then you should fold it and tie the paper to a pine tree or set of wires nearby, in order that the fortune be left there and not follow the owner. If it is good, then you can tie it up for greater effect, or keep the paper for luck.
My last one reminded me to respect my parents... but I do that already, right greengirl?
- Panasonic DMC-G1