Bebe Taian: Setsubun and Year of the Rabbit

February 6, 2011

Setsubun and Year of the Rabbit

Setsubun has come and passed- and I've been too busy to do anything about it!

Setsubun is a holiday every year in the first week of February. This year, it fell on the Lunar New Year (year of the Rabbit).

Every year, the calendar turns to one of the 12 animals of the Chinese/Buddhism-derived zodiac. Last year was the year of the Tiger. This is now the year of the Rabbit- my year (and Bebe's year as well)! I intended to visit Ichiban restaurant on that day, wearing my rabbit obi and kimono set again, but alas- it was not to be. So busy. I spent the entire day from waking to late in the evening cleaning and doing errands. I barely ate and didn't go to bed until late. The next day, I rested a little, but that afternoon/evening it was more of the same. Oy. Maybe next year...

That day (which I had totally forgotten about!) was also Setsubun, the first day of Spring. On that day, everyone visits temples and shrines, and participates in a bean-throwing ritual. Roasted beans (white or azuki, I think) are thrown out of the house while saying, "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" ("Devils out! Happiness in!") Then, the number of one's age are picked up and eaten for good luck. Formerly, the festival was celebrated by displaying strings of fish heads and leaves of certain trees while banging drums to keep evil spirits away. This isn't really so common anymore, although some people say you might still see fish heads sometimes.

I certainly hope for better luck in this coming year! I have been unusually distracted and stressed, and hope to return to myself soon. But don't worry, this blog is not going away any time soon!

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