It’s a rainy (early spring?) day over here. Sometimes it’s nice to stay inside. Sometimes it’s nice to have another Setsubun・節分 treat. I was so incredibly lucky to get both the devil・oni・鬼 and good fortune・fuku・福 from Suzukake・鈴懸, an incredibly popular sweets shop in Fukuoka. The little oni devil is namagashi made with tsubu-an (coarse sweet red bean paste) and the little fuku face of fortune is a koshi-an (smooth red bean paste) manju.
I love the spirit of this festival so much: the changing of the seasons, the lunar year, the sweeping out the negativity of the past and welcoming the new, better year with open arms. It’s a really lively festival, when children throw beans at the devil to chase him away. Usually the devil is the father, and this is often done at home. Typically this is also a big event at the shrines, usually where children can throw beans at a devil, sometimes laughing or crying depending on how scary the devil may be. And the adults can buy amulets to encourage the good fortune for the year to come. Of course this year is a little different but there are always tiny ways to celebrate.