What is Setsubun?
Setsubun is the day before the beginning of spring.
Originally it meant the day before the changing of the four seasons in Japan, but now people usually refer to it as the day before spring, which is the day of the start of the year in the lunar calendar.
What people do on this day?
On this day, people scatter parched soybeans, shouting “Oni-wa Soto, Fuku-wa Uchi” which means “Out with the devil! In with good fortune!” to get rid of evil spirits.
Usually the head of a family scatters the soybeans, but recently somebody in the family puts on the ogre mask and others throw the soybeans at the person. When you throw them, start with the innermost room and proceed to the front of the house.
After that people eat parched soybeans (eat the same number as your age), because it’s said that if you eat them you can be healthy for the year.
What else do people eat?
Recently, people also eat a whole “Futo-maki / Eho-maki” (you shouldn’t cut it) facing the good luck direction of the year, in silence. When you eat it, invoke your wish. (The good direction for 2019 is east‐northeast) where the Toshitoku god (歳徳神), a god who controls the happiness of the year is.)
What do people decorate?
Depending on the area, people put a grilled sardine head and a holly branch at their front door as good-luck charms. They think devils run away because of the bad smell of grilled sardine and the holly thorns.
Setsubun Events in Kagoshima
KAGOSHIMA JINGU SETSUBUN-SAI
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