Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Setsubun 2017, Feb. 3
Setsubun is the Japanese holiday that marks the day before the changing of each season. But the Spring Setsubun is the one that everyone celebrates. This year, it fell on Friday, Feb. 3rd. Terukuni shrine observed the event at 4 PM by having various business leaders and/or their representatives throwing small packets of candies and snacks (for the children) and dried beans (for the adults) to the crowd. Things started out with a Shinto priest blessing everyone. Then the group shouted "Demons out, good luck in".
Last year was a little more interesting, in that the leaders took turns, with four people throwing out the snacks at one time. This year, everyone threw out the snacks all at once.
I had to work Friday, and my lesson ended just before 4 PM. I arrived at Terukuni as things were about to start. There were already a few hundred people there ahead of me, and none of the packets were even getting close to the back of the crowd, so I left a few minutes later.
Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi.