February 3rd 「節分(せつぶん)」

The eve of the first day of spring: Setsubun actually signifies “the parting of the seasons;” especially nowadays, it falls on about February 3, the day before the first day of spring.  On the evening of this day, people yell, “Out with the ogre!(evil) In with the happiness!” while scattering parched soy beans inside and outside their homes.  To pray for good health for that year, there is also the custom of eating only the number of soy beans as one’s age.  At temples and shrines, too, bean scattering is practiced on a grand scale. 節 分とは本来「季節の分かれ目」を意味していましたが、現在で特に立春の前日である2月3日ごろがこれに当たります。この日の夜、人々は炒った大豆を家の内 外にまきながら、「鬼は外!福は内!」と唱えます。その年の健康を祈るため、大豆を自分の年の数だけ食べるという習慣もあります。また寺や神社でも大がか りな豆まき実施されます。 From Traditional Japanese Culture & Modern Japan 「日本文化を英語で紹介する事典」より

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