Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Setsubun/ Tengu Festival
Japan just celebrated a holiday called Setsubun and I thought I'd share a little about the traditions and festivities. Setsubun is held on February
3rd, the day before the official first day of spring according to the old Japanese calendar. People throw roasted soybeans out their windows and
doors, and people wear demon masks and are chased out of homes to symbolize getting rid of bad luck and inviting in good luck. People yell 'fuku wa ichi'
which means, 'luck, in!' basically. Public celebrations include parades, and mass bean tossings at shrines. They throw beans wrapped in little plastic
packaging so people can catch and eat them. Eating as many beans as you are old is supped to being good luck.
Ashley came with me to check out the Tengu festival which sort of kicks off Setsubun since it happens the Saturday before. It was so much
fun and I'm so glad we went. It's basically a quaint little neighborhood parade that gets CRAZY crowded since the streets are so narrow,
but it's so cool to see all the costumes and the famous tengu float. Ashley and I bough masks and beans at Daiso, but it turns out the
crowd catches beans thrown at them and not the other way around. I was filming almost the whole time and managed to still catch
a bean package in my left hand while filming which made me feel like a total ninja. Hopefully I can get the video edited and up soon,
but I got a JOB so I'll be pretty busy this week.
We had a fun dinner the night of setsubun, eating various rolls or maki, which are the good luck thing to eat for this holiday. We split an
ehomaki from our local supermarket, which was filled with raw tuna, salmon, scallops, salmon eggs, and cooked crab, egg, and cucumber.
There are 7 ingredients to represent 7 shinto deities, and because 7 is the luckiest number. We ate ( or took our first bite, really) facing
west-southwest, which is the lucky direction for 2015. For dessert I found cute little kochi rolls filled with red bean paste, one was sakura
flavored and one was mugwort flavoured. SO GOOD.
Love, from Japan,
Posted by Kitsune-kun at 9:54 AM