Setsubun is a traditional Japanese festival celebrated on February 3rd, marking the end of winter and beginning of spring. It is also considered as the start of the Japanese lunar calendar. The festival is celebrated by throwing roasted soybeans, called “mamemaki,” to ward off evil spirits and welcome good luck.

Families gather to perform the ceremony and eat specially prepared “Ehomaki” sushi rolls. There are also large Setsubun events at shrines and temples throughout Japan, featuring traditional music, dance and food. In some regions, people may wear Oni (demon) masks, and events may also include a traditional mamemaki performance by shrine priests and other participants.

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