02 to 03 February
Setsubun is a two-day festival which marks the first day of spring in the ancient Japanese lunar calendar. It is a time when people celebrate the arrival of this clement, blossom-filled season with great passion and joy. A popular Setsubun traditional is mamemaki (bean-throwing), where the head of the household throws roasted soya beans out of the house in order to spring clean it. Often, another member of the family dons a daemon mask, so that the beans may be thrown at them accompanied by shouts of “Fuku wa uchi, oni wa so to!” (“Fortune in, daemons out!”). Some of the roasted soya beans are retained and, to complete the ritual, the family sit down to enjoy a meal prepared with these. Setsubun celebrations also take place at many Shinto shrines, where crowds gather to watch mamemaki, kyōgen (plays), daemon-chases and Setsubun dances.
For more information about Setsubun please click here