Thursday, February 3, 2011

Only in Japan: Setsubun

On February 3rd, the Japanese celebrate "Setsubun" or "bean throwing ceremony". According to the lunar calendar, Feb. 3 is the eve of the spring season, and throwing beans is a symbolic ritual of throwing out demons and bad luck. When families throw the beans out their door, they say, "Devils out, fortune in!" What beans have to do with evil spirits, I do not know, and I also found it interesting that you are then supposed to eat as many roasted soy beans as you are old (so I'd eat 21, right? RIGHT??)

oni mask and peanuts. symbols of Setsubun

Another tradition during Setsubun is to eat a maki sushi roll while facing the direction of the zodiac sign for the year. Our Japanese teacher was kind enough to make the rolls with us tonight. It was my first time making maki sushi, and it was delicious.

Above is the fillings: cucumber, grilled egg, spinach, shiitake mushroom, kampyo (gourd), and some kind of pink fish powder.

My finished product!

And Ethan enjoying the fruits of his labors.

So here's to telling bad luck to get lost and fortune to come in!!!

1 comment:

  1. so that's why we made them! i did wonder why!