Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Setsubun, or "the day before Spring," is celebrated on Feb. 3rd, but I wasn't paying enough attention. My focus was more on getting a clear photo of the moon rise, which wasn't going to start until about 4:45 PM that day. So, I didn't get out of the apartment until all of the activity at Terukuni shrine had pretty much wrapped up. Some of the bigger shrines have celebrities throwing out packets of money, but at Terukuni, some women dressed up in kimono just tossed out small bags of dried beans. One tradition is for men to dress up as oni (demons) and terrorize the children in their families. The children then throw dried beans at the oni, shouting "good luck in, bad luck out". Another tradition is to eat the number of beans that represents your age, for good luck in the coming year. I prefer getting the money.
And, as with any other event held at a shrine, people line up to pray to the local gods for luck.