Shinto Autumn Festival
Every fall, a small but diligent congregation in Honolulu gathers at Daijingu Temple of Hawaii to celebrate the Autumn Thanksgiving Festival, a time to traditionally give thanks to the gods for a good harvest.
While I'm not a member of the temple, I am attached to it via my jujitsu club, which regularly attends the temple's events, including the big one - the New Year's Eve blessing.
The Autumn Thanksgiving Festival, Akimatsuri, takes place during the second Sunday in September at the Daijingu Temple. For many shrines, the Autumn Festival is often a significant festival.
I love the ritual of old religions, so I enjoy seeing the ceremonies and rites, and hearing the priest chant in Japanese, before inviting the members to go up and make an offering and receive a blessing. I am Buddhist, so it's not huge leap for me to participate.
After the church ceremony, there's picture taking, entertainment, and the raising of the mikoshi, which is a golden, very heavy, portable Shinto shrine. The aunties of the congregation work hard to prepare a huge buffet table for people to chat and connect.
It's open to the public - and it's free - so if you'd like to catch the next festival, go to http://www.hawaiidaijingu.com for a schedule.