Setsubun: Bean-Throwing Festival

Have you ever seen politicians, celebrities, Sumo wrestlers throw beans at temples? Well, this is a very popular event in Japan.


Setsubun is yearly celebrated on 3Feb in Japan, which used to be the day before the first day of spring according to the old Japanese calendar. It is still very common to see roasted soy beans thrown outside a house or to a person wearing oni (demon) masks, or eat Ehomakis (a giant sushi roll with eggs, seafood, and veggies) on this day.

In ancient times, people believed that bad luck was brought to them by evil spirits eyes cannot see. It was believed that illness, nature disasters, and droughts were caused by oni and people needed to get rid of them before the new year started.


Eating Ehomakis, on the other hand, started as a regional custom in Osaka to hope for business prosperity. Now it is common to see huge sushi rolls at grocery stores, department stores and convenience stores throughout the country before Setsubun. If you wish to try this, remember to follow the rule:  Face the good fortune direction of the year, eat up the sushi roll all at once without making any sounds. FYI, good fortune for 2018 is south-southeast!


Let us know if you have any interest in bean throwing festivals held at temples, shrines and other facilities. We can get back to you with a load of exciting information 🙂


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