Editor’s Note: We also have another post about Satsubun, written by Joelle, that tells a bit more about this festival.
CONTRIBUTED BY STACI HAWLEY
While Americans eagerly await Puxatawny Phil to predict the length of winter, the Japanese are celebrating the first day of spring (which begins February 3rd) with a tradition called Mame Maki. Apparently, many Japanese families scatter roasted soybeans inside their house as well as outside their windows. Then the father of the home usually wears a mask (see Sebastian above), representing a devil while the family throws the beans at him and shouts “Oni wa Soto!” (Out with the devil) and “Fukuwa uchi!” (In with good luck).
Sebastian’s sensai (teacher) at the school said that everyone eats one bean for every year of their age. Below is the small bag o’ soybeans that were in his backpack.
Behold the bean and a little silver fish that Sebastian ate, without grimacing:
This old tradition is said to have originated from the time when the “devil” terrorized the people of the village. The emperor told seven men to throw soybeans at the devil’s cave and seal up the exit.
So dear readers, in the spirit of mame-maki (driving out the demons- and bringing good fortune) what would you like to cleanse yourself of this season?