Today I ventured off to the Haiki Jinja (Shrine) to celebrate Setsubun. Also known as Bean-Throwing Festival. Setsubun is the day before the beginning of spring in Japan. Basically consists of a special ritual to cleanse away all the evil of the year & to drive away any disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come.
It's common for people to wear a Oni (demon) mask outside of their house & have their family members throw beans at them while the ones throwing beans shout "Oni wa soto!" (which translates to Demons out!)
Then it's custom for the family to throw beans into their house while they shout "Fuku wa uchi!" (which translates to Luck in!)
I had a really fun time at the Shrine. I sat through a ceremony inside the Shrine then afterwards joined in on the bean-throwing. After they threw the beans, they threw packets of beans that had paper raffles attached to them & bags of mochi (rice cakes). To my surprise, I actually caught a packet of beans so I went to retrieve my prize/gift. I got a Tommy Hilfiger duffle bag! How neat is that? Then when I got home I ate an Eho-maki (lucky direction roll) in silence facing the yearly lucky compass direction, which it determined by the zodiac symbol of that year. It was way too big & long, hahaha, but I ate it all! Woo! Then my grandmother threw money in the dark for us to try to collect. The cat got a little bit hyper from us all laughing & making a lot of noise!
Anyway, I feel like I am rambling. Hope you all enjoy the pictures!
p.s. I feel like the way I edited the pictures has ruined the pretty colors that are meant to be seen. Not sure if I should load different version of the pictures or not... H'm...