As I have described in my book, my ujigami jinja, Shirahata Hachiman Daijin, has a special matsuri on the first day of the rabbit in March, and as part of this matsuri a straw snake is hung on the torii, where a shimënawa would normally go. This year’s snake went up a couple of weeks ago. Click on the images for larger versions.
This matsuri is technically run by a “kō”, a group of people with a special devotion to a particular kami or jinja, rather than by the jinja itself or the ujiko in general. From casual observation, it seems that the membership of the kō and the roster of central ujiko are about the same, and people in the area are allowed to observe, so in practice there is very little visible difference.
The snake will be displayed on the torii until the summer matsuri, in July.
So what goes up from July to March?
A standard shimënawa.