Friday, February 03, 2012


"Onni wa soto!"  "Fuku wa uchi!"  are the cries you'd hear all over Japan today.  For February 3rd is the Setsubun festival and the chants call for "Devils, get out!  Good luck come in".  


Beans are believed to drive the evil spirits away and families often have fun throwing them at someone (often the father) wearing a devil's mask.  Some of the remaining beans are then eaten, one for each year of your age, in the belief that it will drive away illness for the coming year.

make way for oni!

rolled sushi

In many areas, a long roll of sushi is also eaten, in silence, until you've finished the whole piece.  From memory there is a particular direction you should face when eating this sushi on Setsubun.

Setsubun 03 amineko

Setsubun 05 amineko

It's a bit like a spiritual spring cleaning and I think one of those traditions I'd like to start with my family.   How about you, are there any festivals from other cultures you'd like to adopt?

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SomedaysSarah said...

After forgetting last year we'll be bean-throwing and sushi eating (this year's direction is north-north-east) tonight! I could do with a bit more good luck this year, I think!

As for festivals I'd like to adopt - the Hindu festival of Holi would be waaaay the top of my list. Although Ganapaati and Janmashtami are both pretty cool too! Holi is basically a city-wide water fight where people run about throwing coloured powder or water at other people (and any cows or other animals that get in the way). Lots and lots of fun (until you start trying to get the colour out of your hair/skin)!

SomedaysSarah said...

Sorry - its north-north-west this year... Changes every yer apparently!


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