Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Beginning of the Year in Japan: Setsubun

In the lunar year, setsubun is counted as the New Year. To celebrate the New Year, people from the past created a ritual known as mame-maki to cleanse away evil spirits by throwing soy beans at them.

Usually a man who was born in a year sharing the New Year's Chinese zodiac sign puts on a demon mask and runs around the house. If there is no one who fits, then the head of the house becomes the demon. When the demon is running around the house, everyone throw soybeans at him and yell: "Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi" (demons out, good fortune in).

After the mame-maki, each person eats the amount of beans matching their age. Pepeol also eat eho-maki, a long rolled sushi eaten facing the lucky direction of the year. Every year, the direction is different depending upon the year's Chinese zodiac sign.

No comments:

Related Posts

Related Posts with Thumbnails