“Setsubun” — Japan’s Bean Throwing Festival
A good, safe way for dull men to watch the bean throwing — that not only avoids dangers of being hit with a bean, it avoids having to travel all the way to Japan:
• Setsubun Bean Throwing Ceremony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnDlSYT44yc
• Bean-Throwing Geisha — Celebrating Setsubun in Kyoto
“Mame maki” (bean throwing) ceremonies are traditionally performed on Setsubun.
Setsubun is February 3 — the day before risshun, which means it’s the first day of spring.
People throw roasted soy beans, shouting “oni-wa-soto” (get out demons) and “fuku-wa-uchi” (come in happiness.) These beans are called “fuku mame” (fortune beans). It is believed you can be healthy and happy if you pick up and eat “fuku mame”— eating the number of them that equals your age.
Eating fortune sushi rolls called eho-maki is also a custom on Setsubun.
Bean throwing ceremonies are held at many temples and shrines around the country. People visit shrines and temples to pick up beans to receive good fortune. At major temples and shrines, Japanese celebrities, such as sumo wrestlers, often participate in mame maki.
If you want to avoid crowds, go to a neighborhood shrine/temple. It might be fun to join other people who rush to catch the beans. Or watch on YouTube.
Japanese not only visit temples/shrines on Setsubun, they also perform bean throwing at home to drive away bad lucks and invite happiness into their houses.
Here’s more to read: http://www.topics-mag.com/internatl/holidays/japan/setsubun-bean-throwing.htm