2 February 2016

setsubun

"Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi" or "Devil out, happiness in"

Wise words indeed and as we head into February perhaps they are words we should all consider? In an occasional series Sketches is going to highlight some traditional festivals that may interest you from here in the UK and abroad. Starting with this wonderful Japanese festival. Setsubun is a festival that's celebrated on February 3rd or 4th. Although it may look a little sinister it's actually a rather nice as it welcomes in the coming Spring

japanese art
Setsubun paper art from the Japanese School in Ealing (London)
Dating back many centuries people have been performing rituals of chasing away evil spirits. From burning sardine heads and creating a noise from drums in the 13th Century to the modern tradition of throwing roasted beans around the house or temple or shrine. Then yelling the phrase in the introduction as you do so. Once done you pick up the number of beans that correspond to your age, and then you eat them. That's to symbolize you will receive good health throughout the year. Now that is certainly something we could all do with. 

Good health to you all. Happy Setsubun! 


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