Setsubun is the day that, officially at least, marks the end of winter. The two chinese characters 節 and 分 read as seasonal + division. Still bloody cold out there though.
“Demons out! Luck in!” (鬼は外! 福は内! Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!)
After throwing a few handfuls at the demon to drive him out, you can eat one dried soy bean for each year of your age, plus one for luck.
One Kansai tradition is the eating of Eho-Maki, (恵方巻き – lucky direction rolled sushi). You are supposed to eat the whole thing facing towards the lucky direction, which changes every year, without talking. In the last few years it has become popular all over Japan due to the hard work and sharp thinking of some marketing scoundrel in the convenience stores.
All Photos Nikon 35ti / Fujifilm Natura 1600