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It’s 3rd of February today, not a big deal I know. But according to lunar calender, it’s 節分 (setsubun) today, 立春 (lichun) tomorrow, which means Spring is here, to be exact - tomorrow (or does it, hahaha).
Anyway, here in Japan, there’s a traditional. The day before Lichun, also known as today, people do 豆撒き (mamemaki), by throwing the soybeans that had been roasted either out to the window or the door and yelling “鬼は外! 福は內! (Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!)” 鬼 means gosts/demons, 福 means luck, and 外內 means outside and inside. So basically “鬼は外, 福は內” means “Demons out! Luck in!”
Here’s the picture of the beans, each one of us got them from our teacher. It’s quite delicious actually. :-)
After the yelling of “鬼は外, 福は內”, people tend to eat the beans, the number of the beans you eat is your age. For example, I’m 22, so I eat 22 of them. Other then eating beans, people also eat 恵方巻き (ehōmaki), the uncut ehōmaki, by facing the direction of north north-west.
Ehōmaki is just simply rolled sushi. But there are necessarily 7 things in it. Dried gourd, cucumber, shiitake (mushrooms), omelet, eel and crisp and flaky shredded dried fish. 7 of them means the Seven Lucky Gods, so well, you all know why they eat it.
Here’s the picture of the ehōmaki, I don’t own it though. I did have mine, but I kind of forgot to take the picture before I “ruined” it. Typical me. :)
So by this time every year, there are a lot of the stores or even the convenient stores sell the beans and ehōmaki. Some beans’ packages even have the masks of the demons in for fun. :-)
Happy Spring! (? Hehehe.