Sunday, February 3, 2008
Demons Out! Good Fortune In!
Today was Setsubun, a kind of rutual event to get rid of evil and bring in luck. Mamemaki (bean throwning) is a big part of the ritual. To do this, you need to get an oni (devil or demon) mask and dried soybeans. These are sold in most supermarkets and convenience stores. Someone wears the mask to symbolize the oni, and everyone chases him out while throwing the soybeans at him. All the while chanting "oni wa soto! fuku wa uchi!" (demons out! luck in!). If nobody is willing to play the oni, you can just throw the beans outside. Some people also eat as many beans as their age for good luck, and an extra bean for next year. I was able to find a Zagoran sized mask, so he played oni this year. Bring in the luck!