In welcoming the New Year, shimekazari hung over the front of the house to mark it as a sacred space. It is also used as a lucky charm to prevent misfortune or evil spirits from entering.
The Japanese are into doing things for the first time in the new year so there are tons of things that people do during the o-shōgatsu season. Playing → Hagoita or Some few of these:
Hatsumōde – first shrine visit of the year
Hatsu hi no de – first sunrise of the new year
Hatsuyume – first dream of the new year
As you can see, hatsu means first or start in Japanese.