Japan’s Bean-throwing Festival : Setsubun

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If you have been following our posts, you would have definitely enjoyed the arious #Crazy Festivals, we have been covering. Today we are introducing you to the famous bean throwing festival from the island of the rising sun – Japan. Traditionally known as Setsuban, is celebrated at the beginning of spring. This festival is celebrated each year on February 3rd during the Haru Matsuri festival.

Throwing Beans

In this bean festival, there is a custom of throwing roasted beans. At first, it is thrown outside the home while saying ‘oni wa soto’ or ‘out with evil,’ to kill bad luck. Then usually, the eldest male in the family dresses as a demon, and children throw beans at him. Finally, beans are thrown inside the home to invite fortune. This time, saying ‘fuku wauchi’ or ‘come in happiness’.

Eating Beans

Traditionally, a special type of roasted bean – ‘fuku mame’ is used in this festival. Apart from throwing the beans, many people eat beans for good luck. According to the ritual, one bean is eaten for each year of your life. Many people eat one extra bean for good health in the upcoming year.

Public Celebration

The festival can be celebrated at home or as a public event. Over time, it has been commercialized. Famous wrestlers and actors join this festival as hosts. Prizes and freebies, such as candies and wrapped money, are tossed into the public. The event is also televised, and people enjoy it from their homes.

Final Words

Setsubun is celebrated widely in Japan every year with growing enthusiasm. Children wear masks, and a variety of colors can be seen in the public areas. Even not being an official holiday, the festival lifts the mood, and people get excited. It leaves behind positivity and happiness.

Wouldn’t you love to be a host at such festivities and throw roasted beans to invite good luck? Don’t try that at home though!

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Pic credit: Shadih~enwiki 

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