Setsubun; Soy beans for evil onis
Guess what, guys! According to Japanese tradition, today February 3, is one day before we officially make our way into spring! Aaaah, winter’s finally over, even though the freezing weather says otherwise. But today is special, because the day has its own name. “Setsubun.”
It’s told that seasonal transitions draw out evil spirits and entities, so people here have the tradition to scatter them away…with baked soy beans. Before you snicker, tradition tells us that the old people believed that grains and cereal are full with life and positive energy (which is understandable, imagine a field full of wheat!) thus has the power to drive evil spirits away.
People throw these beans from the furthest section of the house, all the way out the front door to completely purge evil from the house. Afterwards, the members of the family take the scattered soy beans in the house and eat the numbers of your age. So a kid would only get to eat a few, whereas the senior member would have to eat more than 70 beans. They usually get full since the beans expand in your stomach once you’ve eaten them (again, understandable).
Related: Ehou-makis: Rule-bound sushi eating