せつぶん Setsubun - Bean Throwing Festival
3rd or 4th February (depending on the year)
Setsubun refers to the change from winter to spring in the traditional Japanese calender. In Australia this is still our summer.In Japan on the night before Setsubun many Japanese homes have a mame-maki (a bean throwing ceremony). A masu (a wooden cup) is filled with roasted soybeans and then the beans are thrown around the house. While they are throwing the beans they say "Oni wa soto!" (Bad spirits go away) "Fuku wa uchi!"(Good fortune come in).
After the mame-maki is over, everyone eats beans but only the same number as their age. It was believed that this would keep you healthy during the year. (That is ok if you are young but if you are old can you image having to eat 60 beans or even 90 beans) Often children make Oni (Goblin) masks