Thursday, February 03, 2005
We have many cultural ceremonies in our country. Maybe it is that we have four distinct seasons. This gives us varieties chances to appreciate the changes of the nature.
I love the bean throwing ceremony held either on February 3 or 4 depending on the year.
We call this day "Setubun". "Setu" means "the season" and "bun" means "divide". So it literally means the day marking the change from winter to spring. So today the third of February is the last day of the winter and tomorrow is the beginning of the spring which every one is longing for its arrival. Well talking of the bean throwing ceremony, not only at many shrines but also at every home family enjoys this throwing ceremony called "Mame maki". We throw the roasted soy beans in the house shouting "Out with the eveil and in with the fortune!" Then we open the windows and throw beans again outside in the garden shouting the same phrase. This way we believe we drive away misfortune and invite only good luck and health for the family. My two children used to love this ceremony so much and they used to throw the beans all over the rooms in the house shouting the phrase. Cleaning up the rooms was my job first thing in the next morning. But now the children are old enough to be reluctant to throw beans, which little kids are crazy about. So I take a part of this bean-throwing. Without this, the good fortune takes a glance at our house and might be just walking away. Oops, it's going to be a problem.
(Click on the picture to get a large view.)