Setsubun Celebration 節分

Setsubun Celebration 節分

February 3rd is a Japanese celebration called “Setsubun” — a seasonal division— to celebrate the day before the spring in  the lunar calendar.  It gives me a very positive feeling as the walk towards spring has begun.

IMG_9572.jpg
IMG_9573.jpg

Western part of Japan, where I am from, has a tradition to eat a big roll of sushi while facing a “lucky” direction of the year.  We have to finish eating the whole roll without talking to keep the good spirit inside our body.  I remember I couldn’t help giggling at the dinner table.

This year we celebrated a day early as we had friends over.  The lucky direction is “South South East”.  The whole roll was a little big, so a half would do.  The quietest dinner with friends ever, but I am glad they got to experience a little Japan with us.

This tradition of the Western Japan is practiced in many parts of Japan now, though I believe it’s a new trend.  Many Japanese college friends I met hadn’t heard of this.  It was over 15 years ago in Atlanta, GA when I felt nostalgic to practice this custom on 2/3 and called in a Japanese restaurant to order “Futomaki”—a big roll— after work.  I was so excited, all pumped up to tackle my roll.  I opened the lid of the take-out box.  I was so stunned.  My roll was pre-cut!!  Oh, you can imagine how disappointed I was.  I admit I neglected to mention my futomaki to be a whole.  But I feel the popularity of this tradition is definitely spreading when I found the non-cut futomaki rolls on sale the day before “Setsubun” in California this year.

IMG_9618.jpg

I also made “Fuku mame,” —Goodluck Bean (roasted soy beans) to go with the tradition.  Evil out, Fortune in.  May the year be filled with health and good fortune for you and your family.

For more information about Setsubun, please see below.

2/3は節分。大事な季節の節目ですね。これから春へ向かっていくと思うと、とても嬉しい気持ちになります。私の出身地関西では「ふとまき」にかぶりつき、恵方を向いて黙って食べるという習慣があります。子供の頃はクスクス笑いながら食べたものです。

今年は娘のお友達が来ていたということもあり、1日早く一緒にお祝いしました。今年の恵方は「南南東」。太巻き一本は多いので、半分で。静まり返る中で一生懸命食べてくれたのが嬉しい。

今でこそ節分の太巻きを食べる習慣は全国に広がっているみたいですが、私が日本にいた頃はそうでもなかったような。もう15年以上前になるかな、アトランタに住んでいた頃、ふと節分が恋しくなり2/3に近くの日本食レストランで太巻きを電話でオーダー。家に帰りさぁかぶりつくぞ!と意気込んで容器の蓋を開けると、綺麗にカットされていて落胆!確かに「ノンカットで」とは注文しませんでしたが、カリフォルニアで節分前日にノンカット太巻きがセールになっていることを思えば、関西の風習の知名度は確実に上がっているのを感じます。

 

Setsubun (節分) is the day before the beginning of spring in Japan.[1][2] The name literally means "seasonal division", but usually the term refers to the spring Setsubun, properly called Risshun (立春) celebrated yearly on February 3 as part of the Spring Festival (春祭, haru matsuri).[3] In its association with the Lunar New Year, spring Setsubun can be and was previously thought of as a sort of New Year's Eve, and so was accompanied by a special ritual to cleanse away all the evil of the former year and drive away disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come. This special ritual is called mamemaki (豆撒き, literally "bean scattering"). Setsubun has its origins in tsuina (追儺), a Chinese custom introduced to Japan in the eighth century.[2]

NOLA in SF  ニューオーリンズをサンフランシスコで

NOLA in SF ニューオーリンズをサンフランシスコで

Nov. Exam Result 検定結果

Nov. Exam Result 検定結果