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Setsubun

2014/01/30

Setsubun literally means “division of seasons”.

“It is used to mark the end of winter and summer, and is derived from the old lunar calendar.

However, ”setsubun” has now come to mean the day before the first day of spring only.

It usually occurs around February 3rd. On this day, in a custom called “mame-maki”, people throw and scatter roasted soy beans inside their houses while saying “Get goblins out of the house! Invite happiness into home!”  Some people believed that “mame”comes from the word “mametsu”

which means drive away evil matter, in “Kanji”.

Then they eat the same number of beans as their age and wish for good health. Bean is “mame” in Japanese which means good health.

At some houses, where there are especially young children, one of the family members (usually the father) act as an “Oni”, and the kids throw beans at him to make him ran away. 

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