An important aspect of Shinto is the tradition to keep balance with nature. At the change of each season, we need a moment to reflect on a fresh start. According to the lunar calendar, the cold days of winter fade away on a day called Setsubun, which is approximately February 4. In our climate, we do not have the impression that a cold February day heralds the arrival of Spring but we welcome Spring on the equinox, March 20. This year Yamakage Shinto in Japan has celebrated the Great Ceremony of Setsubun for the 1737th time. It was a powerful ceremony, which could not be attended by visitors because the pandemic hit there with a new wave. Yamakage Shinto Holland Saigu performs Spring Ceremony for the 44th time in Amsterdam. We say thanks to the powers of nature, invite good luck and pray for peace in the world and health and wisdom for all. At the same time, we will get rid of all bad luck and garbage of previous year. It is also the moment to renew Omamori and Ofuda (see below). Although the last wave of the pandemic is officially declared as being extinguished, we are still cautious and limit the number of visitors; you are invited to join the ceremony online. If you want to join online, kindly send an email to office@shinto.nl with the message that you will join online. Do not forget to mention your name and email. In due time you get the link on YouTube. Please note that you can join the ceremony only simultaneously. In Japan, Setsubun is commonly known as the “bean throwing festival”. It is custom to throw roasted beans in order to invite happiness and expel bad luck. Perhaps it has the same function as the throwing of “peppernuts” on our St. Nicolas Day. In the ancient tradition of Yamakage Shinto, Setsubun ceremony aims to protect people against “kegare”. This word means “pollution on physical, emotional, intellectual and environmental levels”. During the ceremony, kami of creation are invited and requested to join the kami of the five elemental phases (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) to purify our world. This assembly of kami radiates pure energy, that charges Omamori and Ofuda with good vibrations. If you are interested in getting Omamori or Ofuda, please contact us at office@shinto.nl More info about Dutch Setsubun, follow this link