Today in Japan it is Setsubun (節分, Bean-Throwing Ceremony) which is the day before the beginning of Spring in Japan.
Since I arrived here I have seen the Oni (demon) character while I have been shopping, as you can see in the picture below (surrounded by Sakura).
The festival is celebrated by a special ritual where mamemaki (beans) is thrown to cleanse away all the evil of the previous year and to drive away any evil spirits of the year to come.
I was unable to get up in time to this at a temple in Japan, but during the event beans are thrown into the crowd and then people dressed as Oni usually run around trying to scare the children, where they are then driven away wit h the beans.
Oni and Okame
Not too sure why they use Okame, but I liked the funny design of the Oni.
The beans come in a range of packs, but as well as these, today I noticed these cup noodles with Oni designs on them.
I found out a special meal is made to celebrate Setsubun, which is shown below.
I had a chicken salad, but I learned during Setsubun it is customary to eat uncut sushi (although min was cut up) while facing SE (or SSE?) in silence which I did as best as I could..
After finishing the meal, as part of Setsubun it is customary to eat roasted soybeans (one for each year of one’s life).
The beans tasted slightly like peanuts, and as I am 26 I had to eat 26 of them!
It was fun experiencing this festival, but if you would like more information about this festival, then please click here.