Seijin-no-hi (Coming of Age Day) is a national holiday in Japan. Young women and men twenty years of age go to shrines, wearing traditional clothing. Their families announce their adulthood to the kami or spirits, and pray for health and well being for a lifetime to come.
Japanese welcome in the New Year with prayers for renewal of hearts, good health, and prosperity. They wear their best clothes and visit shrines in large numbers–sometimes at the very stroke of midnight o n New Year's Eve. During the seven days of the holiday, people visit one another's homes to offer good wishes for the comming year.
Known as matsuri, a word that conveys many meanings, including ritual, celebration, veneration and prayer–all Shinto festivals aim to honor and give thanks [...]
Tohji-taisai, the Grand Cermony of the December Solstice, celebrates the joy of the ending of the yin period of the sun, when it declines in strength, and the beginning of its growing period or yang period. The sun is of central importance in Japan, expressing the presence of Amaterasu Omikami, the Kami of the Sun.
Shuki-sorei-sai, the September equinox memorial service, has observances similar to the March equinox memorial service–the Memorial Service is held at home altars to revere ancestors as kami. Grave-sites are cleaned and purified.