Traditions

To celebrate spring, kids in Japan throw soybeans at their dads

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During the festival of Setsubun in Japan, kids are allowed to throw soy beans all over the house and even out the windows!

This traditional holiday happens early February each year to mark the start of springtime on the Japanese, lunar calendar. And families and communities celebrate with a good luck ritual called mame maki!

Mame maki is a super-fun way to drive out naughty ogres or spirits, called oni. Oni are blue or red, have two horns, carry a club and wear a tiger-skin loincloth. At Buddhist temples and shrines, famous people or even sumo wrestlers, throw roasted soy beans, known as ‘fortune beans’ from a stage for people to try and catch!  

Join In!

Whilst in Japanese homes, an adult — usually dad, puts on a creepy oni mask and runs all over the house as the kids try and hit him with the soy beans! Meanwhile, people shout, ‘Oni wa soto; fuku wa uchi!’ which means, ‘Out with the goblins; in with good fortune!’