It’s just a few days away from a holiday in Japan called Setsubun (節分), which this year falls on Friday, February 3rd. Though I wrote a bit about the the background and customs of Setsubun last year, we didn’t actually do anything to celebrate the coming of spring. To be honest, while the winters here are cold and unbearable, I’m not too excited for spring to come around. Last year, I had my worst spring allergies yet — especially the itchy eyes, Goddddddd! How I dread the itching to come this spring!!
Nonetheless, we decided to celebrate Setsubun this year by participating in the bean-throwing ritual called mamemaki. I picked up this special ‘Setsubun Pack’ which contains a plastic Oni mask and some roasted soybeans for under 400 yen at the supermarket. On the night of Setsubun, Nick, as head of the household, will be wearing the mask and dancing around while I throw beans at him! Just like in the picture above!! (I couldn’t help put those exclamation points there. I am really excited to throw roasted beans at my husband, hah!) This bean-throwing ritual is supposed to help ward off bad luck and evil spirits. I am hoping that it will also ward off bad allergies. It is also custom to pick up the beans after throwing them, so I guess that means I should vacuum right before to make sure the floor is clean. We’re supposed to eat the same number of beans as our age, so I hope there are at least 53 beans in the package, and I hope they don’t taste gross.