Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ahead of time

Just last week on February 3 , we celebrated ”Setsubun", the Bean-Throwing Festival in our homes, at shrines and in temples throughout Japan.

It is one of our seasonal, happy events, which drives away evil from our homes and brings in only good fortune and good health to every household by throwing roasted soybeans.

Meanwhile, according to the Japanese traditional calendar,  February 3 marks the last day of winter and we name February 4  "Risshun", the first day of spring.

Though I know we will have some more cold and freezing days until the real spring arrives here, it is exciting to have some signs of spring not only in nature but also in everyday objects, such as a flower arrangement on an alcove, a hanging scroll and even some cups and saucers that depict spring.  That way we enjoy some signs of spring in homes much in advance.

What's more, very often at a department store, we will find a seasonal food item with an appealing presentation such as "wagashi."  These are Japanese sweets and reflect each season in their shapes and colors. Defined wagashi is such a delight to our eyes and finally to our mouth.

All these things are something we have been practicing  for centuries and we learn this  from our parents and grandparents  as a common practice in our daily lives.  I do love choosing  a hanging scroll at our alcove when our traditional calender marks the arrival of season a little bit earlier.

Somehow we enjoy the signs of the season ahead of time.

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