Setsubun is a traditional Japanese holiday that takes place in early February each year. In 2023, it will fall on Saturday, February 3, making it the perfect time for families and friends to gather together and celebrate. This holiday marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring, and it has been celebrated for centuries with a variety of customs and rituals.

One of the most popular traditions associated with Setsubun is mamemaki, which literally means "bean-throwing." Participants throw roasted soybeans out of their homes and at each other or the nearest oni, shouting "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" which translates to "Demons out! Luck in!". The very act of mamemaki is said to drive away evil spirits and bring good luck for the coming year. It's common for families to gather together and have a mamemaki ceremony, with each person taking turns tossing the beans.

Ehomai - Lucky Sushi Roll

Another popular Setsubun tradition is ehomaki, or "lucky direction roll." It is believed that eating a special sushi roll while facing a specific lucky direction can bring good fortune. The lucky direction changes every year, so be sure to check what it is before participating in this tradition. The ehomaki should be eaten in silence while facing the lucky direction, without speaking or cutting the roll.

Setsubun is also a time for families to come together and enjoy a special meal, often featuring traditional Japanese food such as grilled eel, mochi, and maki sushi rolls. Many people also take the opportunity to clean their homes and perform other rituals that are believed to bring good luck for the coming year.

Setsubun is a time of joy and celebration, and a perfect opportunity for families to come together and celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Whether you participate in mamemaki, ehomaki, or simply enjoy a special meal with your loved ones, this holiday is sure to be a memorable one. So join us in welcoming Spring!

Here's a demonstration of mamemaki at a nearyby oni that was seen roaming JCCH, enjoy!