We are just a couple of days away from the Setsubun matsuri in Japan, so for Today’s Japan photo, we will take a look at the interesting Bean Throwing Ritual (Mame Maki) 豆撒き.
A little more information on Mame Maki [豆撒き]:
February 3rd, which is one day before Risshun (the first day of spring according to the lunar calendar), is called Setsubun in Japan. It’s not a national holiday, but mame maki (bean throwing) ceremonies are performed on Setsubun. Traditinally, people throw roasted soy beans at home, shouting “oni wa so to” (get out demons) and “fu ku wa uchi” (come in happiness.) These beans are called fuku mame (fortune beans.) It is believed that people can be healthy and happy if they pick up and eat fuku mame the number equal to their ages.
Bean throwing ceremonies are held at many temples and shrines around the country. It’s common for people who were born under the same Chinese zodiac sign as the year to throw beans. People visit shrines and temples to pick up beans to receive good fortune. At major temples and shrines, Japanese cerebrities, such as sumo wrestlers perform mamemaki. It’s fun to visit shrines and temples near you on Setsubun.