Saturday, February 03, 2007
Yesterday I took the children in my class to a local Setsubun festival. Setsubun ("seasonal division") is a festival held on February 3 or 4, one day before the start of spring according to the Japanese lunar calendar. On this day people practice a ceremony called Mamemaki (bean-throwing) at temples, shrines and at home to expel demons (symbol of misfortune) and invite fortune. When throwing the beans, you are supposed to shout "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" ("Demons out, happiness in"). Afterwards you should pick up and eat the number of beans, which corresponds to your age. I brought some of the beans home for the girls, Jazz ate 3 and Dixie ate 1 according to their dog years as I don't think I should give Jazz 30 odd beans and Dixie 13!!!