Updated: March 26, 2021
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Setsubun, an event to pray for peace for the year and pay for disasters

February the 2nd was the day before the equinox and that is the day of the celebration of Setsubun in Japan! Largely celebrated in Japan, Setsubun is part of Japanese culture and is a special moment to attract luck and chase away the demons.

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What is Setsubun, an event that is indispensable for Japanese people?

It is usually celebrated on the 3rd of February depending on the lunar calendar but this year is a special year !

Originated in the 8th century and having evolved around the years, Setsubun means the division of seasons.

It was originally celebrated at every change of season during the year, so yes 4 times. But the one before spring was considered to be the most important so it is the one that still remains today.

Setsubun is widely celebrated throughout Japan as it is a special moment to welcome luck and happiness into your home.

First of all, chase away the demons !

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Image of Setsubun
In the old days, it was thought that demons liked the change of seasons and would grasp the opportunity to come into your house, but luckily soy beans have the spiritual power to drive away the Oni, so throw them away at the demons !

When you throw the beans, do not forget to say out loud the magical phrase : “鬼は外! 福は内 Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” : the demons are out ! The happiness is in !

Then, bring the happiness inside !

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Eating Ehomaki
One other thing that is widely popular is to eat ehomaki. There are many reasons as to why, but it may originate from a cooperative in Osaka that would do a lucky sale during this season.

This is a ehomaki user guide :
1−Eat in the right direction. This year(2021) was SSE. It changes every year depending on the calendar, so check before ! If you buy it in Japan, there will be signs in the shop, look for them !
2−There is one per person, no more, no less. Do not cut it or you will cut your luck !
3−No talking. If you open your mouth, you will make space for luck to escape !
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One more tip : the demons do not like the smell of sardines so hang out one at your door !
Leila

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