Japanese Calendar Holidays & Festivals

Bean Throwing  (setsubun)  National Festival


T.T., Jan.93 -- Bean Throwing Festival (setsubun)

If you want an excuse for starting a food fight then stock up on beans and plan to pay a visit to your friend's apartment on (Wednesday) February 3. The more rooms and closets the better! February 3 is "Setsubun" - bean-throwing festival. On that day, in homes all across the country, families will symbolically cleanse their homes of evil spirits and invite good fortune in. The beans are tossed into corners while chanting "Come in good fortune, out with devils." This makes them go away.

A couple of kilos per each friend's apartment should do the trick, but in the middle of the great favor you're doing them (by throwing the.beans) don't be completely surprised if your friend exclaims, "Did you say 'out with the devils?'" while grabbing you and tossing you and the rest of your beans out! Some people are really touchy about these things, I've found.... By the way, large temples will likely have famous personalities join the local priests to publicly perform the same ceremony. (Paul Abramson)

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