Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It’s Nearly Setsubun!

I’m posting this a couple of days early so you’ll have time to prepare. Thursday, February 3, is not only the start of the Lunar New Year, it’s the eve of Spring in Asia. So what should you do on this auspicious day?
According to ancient custom, you should scatter roasted soybeans throughout your house, and throw some out your front windows for good measure. Why do this? You do it to chase away the ogres (called “oni” in Japan) who can gain access into your home when the seasons change. So … you throw soybeans at them, trying to hit their eyes so they will run away.
It’s a three-step process:
First, throw beans out the windows, at the same time shouting “Oni WA soto!” (Out with the ogres!).
Second, scatter beans in your rooms and shout, “Fuku WA uochi!” (In with good fortune!).
Finally … pick up your age in beans and munch on them. They’ll give you good luck during the coming year.
Aren’t customs fun? Now … go buy those soybeans before Thursday passes and you’re confronted by all those bad ogres.


casch said...

Do you do this Craig? Our neigbors are of Japanese descent, I will watch to see if they do this too.

Craig Miyamoto said...

No I don't, Carolyn. I'm interested in these customs and love explaining to the old folks why they've been doing this. Usually they have no idea, they just do it because they were brought up doing it.

Besides, we have monster cockroaches in Hawaii just waiting to see what food we will throw on the floor for them!