Setsubun is a traditional festival held on February 3.It literally means the day between two seasons (Setsu=season / Bun=division).
In Japan,this day marks the end of the winter and people celebrate Setsubun, the day before the first spring day on the present calendar.You never miss the event “Mame maki” on the day. “Mame maki” is when people throw soybeans both inside and outside of their houses.
You scatter the beans outside,while shouting “Oni wa soto= Devil out” and scatter them inside the house,also shouting ”Fuku wa uchi=Fortune in”.
Oni=devil refers to negative vibes,such as a disaster or suffering,which is called”Jaki” in Japanese.So,these two phrases are a kind of magical spell to get rid of the Jaki and to bring good luck into a house.
After throwing the beans, you eat as many beans as the year of your age to wish staying healthy. Some regions have a custom to eat one extra your age.The word”Mame=bean” has a meaning of a health in Japanese.
When I was a child,I envied my parents who could eat many beans, but now, it is a bit hard to eat them up for my age….
Eating”Eho maki=long Shushi roll” has become popular on the day recently.This custom is originally from the Kansai region and Nyapan didn’t know that before.
It is said that when you eat it, you should look in the years’ good luck direction and eat it up without cutting,which brings you good luck. Even though Eho maki is a long and thick Sushi roll, you should try to eat it whole.Because cutting means to break a relationship.And the other rule…if you talk while eating it, your fortune will be gone.
Eat quietly while making a wish in your heart.
The good luck direction in 2017 is north-northwest!
Do you think it’s difficult? But you can eat delicious rolls at high-class restaurant’s or at convenience stores. There is a variety of Eho maki!