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[Countries and Cultures]      [Japan Section]     [Origami]

DLTK's Countries and Cultures
Japanese Section:  Setsubun Festival  (Feb 3rd)

Setsubun is a fun Japanese festival celebrated the day before the first day of spring (on February 3rd).  Families celebrate by throwing roasted soybeans outside the door of their house to chase out the oni (naughty ogres or spirits) or, even more fun, throwing roasted soybeans at dad dressed up like an oni!

When the beans are thrown, the children (and adults) shout, "Oni wa soto!  Fuku wa uchi!" which means Oni out!  Happiness in!

The beans are sold in stores at the time (for those who don't want to roast their own).  The beans are sold in little packages (about the size of a single serving potato chip bag and are called Fuku Mame or Happiness Beans.  The beans are thrown to chase the bad spirits (oni) out of the home and bring happiness or good luck for the following year.  Everyone then eats some of the roasted soybeans as a treat --  one for each year of their life plus one extra for the coming year -- so a 10 year old would get 11 beans to eat.  They taste a little like roasted pumpkin seeds.

Another tradition is to try to eat an entire maki sushi roll.  This is supposed to give good luck.  At other times of year the rolls are sliced to make them easier to eat...  But at Setsubun they are left whole because slicing would symbolize cutting good fortune.  While eating the roll, you need to stand facing the lucky direction (which changes each year) and remain completely silent.

Of course, like festivals and celebrations everywhere each household has its own traditions!

What are Oni?  Oni are naughty ogre-like creatures that bring bad luck to a household.  Originally oni were depicted as quite scary and evil but they've been a bit toned down over the years since so many daddies dress up as them for the big bean throwing event and parades so I think of them as more "naughty" or unlucky.

Oni are either blue or red.  They have two horns, carry a large iron club and wear a tiger skin loincloth.   When Japanese children play tag, the person who is "it" is called the oni.  Oni are also featured in a number of children's stories.


setsubun oni colouring pages

Setsubun Activities
Coloring Pages and Posters


Blue Oni Paper Plate Craft or Mask

Setsubun Activities
Blue Oni Paper Plate Craft


Blue Oni TP Roll Craft

Setsubun Activities
Blue Oni TP Roll Craft


Red Oni Paper Plate Craft or Mask

Setsubun Activities
Red Oni Paper Plate Craft


Red Oni TP Roll Craft

Setsubun Activities
Red Oni TP Roll Craft


Sutsubun Online Jigsaw Puzzles

Setsubun Activities
Setsubun Online Jigsaw Puzzles

     Beans and Mask

     Throwing Beans


 


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