Sunday, February 3, 2013

Setsubun - Bean Throwing Festival

Today, Setsubun is the day that marks the beginning of spring in Japan. It is  not really spring, and it is still cold - but this is the tradition. People go to temples all over the country were some priests and invited guests throw roasted soy beans into the crowd. The fun is to try to catch these beans  before your neighbours - but in a civilized manner - these are Japanese people. A 10-year-old boy succeeded to catch a Ziploc beans bag  just between my legs, and as a very controlled oriental man, I succeeded to refrain myself from throwing  him away with the beans....

As I explained to some English women besides me, this is done to drive away the evil spirits that bring bad luck to one's life. Many superstitions,  like having a statue of a kind of raccoon with big testicles and holding a sake bottle to bring good fortune, or the unluckiness of the number "four" are  still very common here.

Nevertheless, today was a beautiful sunny winter day and we all enjoyed very much the event - although, I missed some background music and  "batucada".

After the festival we visited Kappabashi Street where you can find cookware for your house or restaurant.  But, the real attraction for tourists are the shops that sell realistic food models such as sushi, bowls of ramen and yakitori.

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