Today, February 3, it is the day before the beginning of Spring in Japan (risshun), also known as Setsubun 節分.
In Japan this celebration is also called the “Bean-throwing Festival” and “Seasonal Division” (Spring Festival 春祭 haru matsuri), and it symbolizes a “new life” because it also coincides with the Lunar new year. The most peculiar things about this festival is that people perform Mamemaki, or bean throwing, to cast away the bad spirits from the past year. After throwing the beans, you are supposed to shout “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” which means “Devils out, happiness in”. This is why many shrines and temples hold bean scattering events, although it is not unsual to held the ritual at home as well.
I decided to gather some more information regarding this national festivity, plus a few images of the celebrations in Japan.
Happy Setsubun to everyone!
- A brief guide to Setsubun
- Michigan State U.
- Setsubun Festival