Friday 23 February 2024

Setsubun (Bean Throwing) Ceremony

On Saturday 4th February, there was Setsubun, the Bean Throwing Ceremony at the Buddhist Temple in Willen.
Setsubun is the day before the beginning of spring in Japan. The name means ‘seasonal’ division, but usually the term refers to the spring Setsubun, properly called ‘Risshun’ celebrated on February 4th as part of the Spring.
There were prayers for about an hour then there was a special ritual to cleanse away all the evil of the last year and drive away disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come. We performed this ritual by throwing lots of beans into the air in a darkened room (also saying loudly 'Good spirits in, bad spirits out' to rid us of any evil spirits) and then picking them up afterwards and putting them into paper bags with some sweets that had also been thrown into the air.

Alex Fox

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