Setsubun, the last day of winter

Setsubun is February 3rd or 4th, the day before the beginning of spring according to the old Japanese calender. This year was today.

In my family, we only perform “mamemaki” on setsubun. Throw roasted beans inside and outside the house saying “Oni ha soto! Fuku ha uchi!”(Demons out! Luck in!)  to drive away evil spirits. And eat beans of your age plus one.  Also, I remember my grandmother used to prepare sardine heads and hiiragi holly leaves and put them up on the front door.

A few years ago, I learned people eat sushi roll called “eho-maki” facing to a certain direction on this day. It is a custom only in Western Japan, but a major convenient store chain started to sell it and now many people recognize this custom in Tokyo. So, I follow the tradition.

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