Setsubun Matsuri (bean throwing festival)

Setsubun Matsuri (Bean throwing festival) happens on the third of February and celebrates the beginning of spring by getting rid of old evil spirits. The festival has its name because roasted soybeans are purchased or received at a temple and then thrown at evil spirits. This is to get rid of the evil spirits from the previous year and ward off more spirits from coming in the new year. Many temples still practice this festival and hold events to bless the beans and hand them out a few days beforehand and the days leading up to February third. It is also popular for families to throw beans out of their house instead of going to a temple. Along with that, one of the men in the family will usual dress up as an oni (demon) and have beans thrown at him while the family chants “out with the bad “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi” which means, “out with demons, in with fortune.”

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