Setsubun 2014

Posted on February 04, 2014 | genkijacs

Setsubun is a special Japanese event marking the last day of winter. The event is celebrated by casting "demons" (ill luck, or bad happenings) out of the home, and welcoming good fortune into the home. This is done via the custom of 豆まき (まめまき, "mamemaki"), where beans are thrown at a person wearing a 鬼 (おに, "oni" - demon) mask, and yelling 鬼は外! 福は内! (おにはそと!ふくはうち! "oni wa soto! fuku wa uchi!" - demons out, good fortune in!). This is supposed to bring good luck for the next year to come.


It is also custom to eat your age in beans on setsubun, for good fortune (although if you're very old, it might be a good idea to go easy on the beans...)

Another setsubun custom is to eat 恵方巻 (えほうまき, "ehoumaki"), a special kind of sushi roll which is eaten standing, facing in the "lucky direction" of that particular year. This year, the "lucky" direction was East-Northeast.


When eating ehoumaki, you're not allowed to talk or laugh until the whole maki is finished. Harder than it sounds!


There are more Setsubun photos on our Facebook page, so check it out!
Fukuoka school setsubun.
Tokyo school setsubun.