Setsubun

Bean throwing festival (image courtesy: farm1.static.flickr.com)
Event Name : Setsubun
Start Date : Monday, 3 February 2014
End Date : Monday, 3 February 2014
Venue : Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo
Country : Japan
Category : Feast & Carnival

Setsubun marks the ending period of winter "sayonara" and saying ‘hello’ to spring. It is also referred to as Risshun and is always scheduled for February 3 or February 4 in same manner with the Lunar New Year.

It is believed that if the soybeans, the fuku mame (fortune beans) are thrown forcefully that is ultimately destroying the eyes of the devil. As a result, many Japanese eat equal number of beans as their age with a hope to say bye bye to devil spirits and therefore welcome the prosperity and luck.

Besides, the dropping of strips of paper bearing excerpts from the Hannyashingyo Sutra also takes place along with the customary parades and scattering. Some Japanese celebrities like sumo wrestlers also come to take pleasures in mamemaki.

It is usually performed by the male head of the household or the male born in the matching animal year on the Chinese zodiac in which roasted soybeans are thrown either out the door ("Demons out”) or else at that family member dressed in an Oni mask to bring in huge luck.

Nevertheless, the localities also visit nearby place of worship and also enjoy the festive spirit at their home by tasting the fortune sushi rolls called eho-maki. Hence bid farewell to all bad lucks forever and invite happiness into their houses.

Setsubun means the ‘Bean- throwing festival’ or ‘Bean-throwing Ceremony’ that takes place at Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan. It is an yearly event that involves maximum family gathering who have been following an age-old traditions of throwing soybeans on each other since the Genroku period (1688-1703). Thus drive out demons and welcome fortune.

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