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Niiname-sai (Jap., ‘festival of new food’). In Shinto, an important annual rite celebrated by the emperor in the eleventh month in which he makes an offering of the newly harvested rice to the kami of heaven and earth and partakes of the rice offering in communion with the kami. In recent times the day on which the niiname-sai is held, 23 Nov., has been designated as a new national holiday, Labour Thanksgiving Day (Kinrō Kansha no Hi). A popular expression of the imperial niiname-sai is the widely celebrated autumn festival (aki matsuri) in which the people gather at the shrines to offer thanks to the kami for an abundant harvest.

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