Mar. 17, 2017 UPDATE

Celebrate Setsubun with demons, beans, and maiko!

Every February a traditional event called Setsubun is observed in Japan. Setsubun means the changing of the season, and there are many rituals, the most famous of which is the expelling of the demon by throwing beans at it. Setsubun is a tradition that is alive and well today, before Setsubun you can find beans and demon masks at most convenience stores and supermarkets, and there are many festivals to celebrate Setsubun.

Of course Setsubun is also celebrated in Kyoto, and there are many Setsubun festivals celebrated at the shrines and temples of Kyoto. There the people of Kyoto enjoy the Setsubun festivities like bean throwing. Setsubun is usually held on February 3rd, but there are also festivals and events on 2nd and 4th too.

This feature is all about Setsubun! Parts one and two are about the Setsubun festivals held in Kyoto while parts three and four are about Setsubun traditions like bean throwing!

If you are in Kyoto during Setsubun, I hope you will try to get into a festive spirit!
Part 1Kyoto’s BIG Setsubun Festival! 4 Tips on How to Enjoy Yoshida Shrine’s Festival!
Setsubun in Kyoto means Setsubun festivals. On the day of Setsubun almost all of Kyoto’s temples and shrines have Setsubun festivals. A festive mood runs through Kyoto when demons are driven off and beans are thrown in the temples and shrines …
Part 2Wait! There is more to Setsubun in Kyoto!
In part one we introduced the Setsubun festival at Yoshida Shrine, but there are other Setsubun festivals in Kyoto too. There are interesting Setsubun festivals held at many of Kyoto’s temples and shrines, on the day of Setsubun and a day before and after …
Part 3Let’s Get to Know Setsubun Traditions!
There are many different kinds of Setsubun traditions that have passed on through generations. But many people don’t know why do we have these Setsubun traditions. This time in part three we are going to take a look at two very different traditions, “mamemaki” bean throwing and “hiiragi iwashi” …
Part 4Let’s eat ehomaki sushi rolls!
In part three I told you about the bean throwing and holly sprig and sardine head Setsubun traditions, but there is more to Setsubun than that! In Japan it is customary to eat a sushi roll composed of seven ingredients called ehomaki on the day …
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