Enjoy Annual Setsubun event at Sensoji Temple on February 3rd.（The tour report on January 28th）
Thank you very much for your participation in our tour at Asakusa and Ueno Park on January 28th. We welcomed 9 people from Austria, Taiwan, China and Philippines. The weather was cloudy and a little cold, but made us feel that spring would not be far away. As mentioned, various photos are posted.
February 3rd is the annual event called a Setsubun festival throughout the country. Setsubun literally translates to the seasonal division and is the day before the start of new spring, just like New Year’s Eve in the traditional calendar.
On the Setsubun day, the most commonly performed ritual is the throwing of beans. At home, families scatter beans with shouting ‘Demons out! Happiness in!’ By throwing beans, people ward off demons and draw in good fortune. After throwing beans, we eat the same number of beans as our age praying for good luck for the year. Also, people eat an entire long sushi roll called ehomaki in silence while facing the year’s lucky direction (east-northeast in 2024) to bring good fortune. A convenience store offers a delicious ehomaki.
On that day, temples and shrines hold Setsubun festivals. Among them, the Sensoji’s event is historic and popular. It’s said to be the first temple which held a Setsubun festival on a large scale in Edo, currently Tokyo. You will see the cute Shichi Fuku Jin(seven lucky gods) dance followed by bean throwing rituals. The celebrities such as actors and comedians will join the ceremony and throw beans to the crowd. At Sensoji Temple they don’t say ‘Demons out!’ but just say ‘Happiness in!’, because there is no demon around its Goddess of Mercy. If you are around, why not come and join the festival at the Sensoji Temple main hall on February 3rd from around 2:30pm to 5:00pm. It will be an exciting and enjoyable experience for you.
(Posted by Yoshi)