It’s Setsubun!! yey!?
What is setsubun???
Setsubun (Bean-Throwing Ceremony)… is the day before the beginning of each season in Japan.
Mamemaki (Bean-Throwing) is usually performed by the toshiotoko (年男) of the household (i.e., the male who was born on the corresponding animal year on the Chinese zodiac), or else the male head of the household. Roasted soybeans (called fuku mame (福豆?)) are thrown either out the door or at a member of the family wearing an Oni (demon or ogre) mask, while the throwers chant “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (鬼は外! 福は内!). The words roughly translate to “Demons out! Luck in!” The beans are thought to symbolically purify the home by driving away the evil spirits that bring misfortune and bad health with them. Then, as part of bringing luck in, it is customary to eat roasted soybeans, one for each year of one’s life, and in some areas, one for each year of one’s life plus one more for bringing good luck for the year to come.
It is customary now to eat uncut makizushi called Eho-Maki (恵方巻) (lit. “lucky direction roll”) in silence on Setsubun while facing the yearly lucky compass direction, determined by the zodiac symbol of that year. Charts are published and occasionally packaged with uncut makizushi during February. Some families will also put up small decorations of sardine heads and holly leaves on their house entrances so that bad spirits will not enter.