Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Japanese Festivals - Setsubun

Last Friday or February 3rd was 節分の日(setsu-bun no hi) in Japan. A traditional ceremony(not holiday) that happens right before 立春(rish-shyun)=First day of Spring which is February 4th.  The kanji's 節分(setsu-bun) literally means "seasonal division", it is derived from "季節(ki-setsu)=Season を(wo) 分ける(wa-keru)=Split" which as a sentence literally means "Split the Season". 節+分ける=節分(setsu-bun) see? ^.^

You can technically say that 節分 is the Eve of Spring. A few activities or rituals are performed on this day one of them is 豆撒き(mame-ma-ki)=Bean throwing. It is said that on the day the season changes 邪気(jya-ki)=Evil arises and 鬼(oni)=Demons bring bad luck. But thanks to BEAN...'s yes, BEAN...'s the most powerful tool to exorcise evil spirits people could ward off bad luck and demons by throwing BEAN...'s at the 鬼. Nowadays people would wear 鬼 masks and become the 鬼 and other people would throw BEANS...'s at them. Beans are also thrown around the house if the person feels an evil presence. When throwing the BEAN...'s one would yell 鬼は外!福は内!which means Demons Out! Luck In! 福(fuku)=Luck, Fortune.
Here is a very funny and cute video of Mame maki I found on Youtube. I hope they don't mind me sharing it ^.^;

I did something similar back when I was an exchange student with my host family only there were no demons we only cleansed the house.
Another thing you do on  節分 is scoop beans from a bowl until you scoop the exact number of beans as your age and eat it. Brings good luck. But I think people aged 30+ just pick the beans instead of scooping.

Here is a good video of  節分 I found on Youtube >>portal<<
More about 節分 on wiki >>here<<

A certain someone costume playing as an  鬼. Soon to be bombarded by BEAN...'s

Out With 鬼! and In with Fortune!


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  2. Can you spell it how to say "鬼は外!福は内!Demons Out! Luck In! 福(fuku)"?

  3. Thanks for the useful information. Right on. It's more informative and easy to understand. Thanks a lot such a nice guideline.
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