The Bean-Throwing Festival: Setsubun

Setsubun (節分) is a unique festival in Japan occurring every year on February 3.

It literally means “seasonal division” and commemorates the beginning of spring or risshun (立春) in the traditional Japanese calendar, although it’s still pretty much winter for most of the country.

But it is best known as “the bean-throwing festival”, a day to remove the evil spirits and bad luck of the previous year and to allow good luck into the home for the next year, done with a custom called Mamemaki (豆撒き).

It involves throwing roasted soy beans out the front home door, at shrine or temple or at a demon-masked individual while shouting “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (鬼は外! 福は内!) or “Demons out, good fortune in!”.

If you are around that day, why not participating in Mamemaki.