SHINTO
Practical Wisdom for the Modern World
AUTUMN
AUTUMN CEREMONY Autumn ceremony (niiname sai) is celebrated in the season of harvest, which is autumn. In the original agricultural setting farmers expressed their gratitude for the abundant crop of rice. Literally, niiname sai means the tasting of the first rice. The first rice is offered to the kami, the vital force of nature. In the modern world the autumn ceremony offers a moment of reflection upon the fruits, the results of our own life. It invites to express gratitude for everything we receive from nature. The interaction between humanity and nature is symbolized by the lemniscate, which is actually a knot, connecting the present with the cosmos. A Dutch cookie, krakeling, (crackling in the shape of a knot)  is offered to the kami.
© 1981 JAPANESE DUTCH SHINZEN FOUNDATION