seasonal division 節分

seasonal division 節分

In Japanese tradition, Spring starts in February, with the lunar calendar.

This year (2021), it started on the 3rd of February - and we celebrated the day before with a festival celebration called Setsubun 節分 the name literally means ‘seasonal division’.

It is said that the spirit world comes close to our world at this time of the year - and demons are likely to appear. For many centuries, people have been performing rituals with the purpose of chasing away these demons and evil spirits that stir at the start of spring.

In modern days, the most commonly performed Setsubun ritual is the throwing of roasted beans around one’s house while shouting ‘Devils out! Happiness in!’ 鬼は外!福は内!

The beans are thought to symbolically purify the home by driving away the evil spirits that bring misfortune and bad health. It is also customary to eat roasted soybeans, one for each year of one’s life, to bring luck - plus one more to bring good luck for the year to come.

Let's celebrate Spring!