Ayako wrote from Japan about the Setsubun Festival…
Feb 3rd is Setsubun 節分. Setsubun literally means "division of seasons” and now it means the day before the first day of spring.
There are many Setsubun events held in different temples and shrines in Japan.
This year I went to a Setsubun festival at the shrine near my home. The event called, "Mamemaki " 豆まき is held there. Roasted soy beans were scattered to the people who gathered there.That is our custom for Setsubun.
When scattering beans, we say "Fuku wa uchi, Oni wa soto ! 福は内、鬼は外". It means, "Bring happiness into the home, Go away demon!" It’s said to drive away bad
luck. At the shrine people are very excited to catch the beans.
The beans I got at the shrine were very nice because I found the "5 yen" coin inside the bean package. "5 yen" sounds like "Goen" which has a very good meaning to Japanese people.
Traditionally on Feb 3rd, we eat Makizuhi, a rolled type of sushi. This year I made Makizuhi at home. I made two types. The ingredients inside are different.
One is, 穴子、きゅうり、とびっこ, boiled conger eel, cucumber and fish raw eggs.
The other is かにかま、カイワレ、とびっこ, boiled fish paste with a flavor of crab with white radish sprouts and raw fish eggs.
Recently, we call the special Makizushi that we eat for Setsubun, "Ehomaki" 恵方巻き. It is very popular now. We can buy variety of Ehomaki at the markets, too.
Please remember the expression "Fuku wa uchi, Oni wa soto!" 福は内、鬼は外
Thanks for sharing your Setsubun traditions with us Ayako! -Mama Lisa