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Thursday, 8th January 2009
In Events In Japan,

See in the spring at Setsubun

Holidaymakers visiting the Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo next month will be able to bid farewell to winter and usher in spring at a traditional Japanese ceremony which will be held on February 3rd.

During Setsubun, the Buddhist faithful will bid "sayonara" to the winter months by scattering soybeans and shouting "Fortune in! Devils!"

According to legend, the tossed soybeans have the power to destroy the eyes of evil creatures.

Participants are then required to consume one soybean for each year of their life.

Strips of paper bearing excerpts from the Hannyashingyo Sutra, a Buddhist tract, are dropped on the floor.

The custom of Setsubun dates back several hundred years, but was not at the Senso-ji Temple until Genroku period which lasted from 1688 until 1703.

Also known as the Asakusa Kannon Temple, it was completed in 628 and is dedicated to the goddess Kannon.

Related news stories:
Japan gears up for Setsubun (8th January 2014)
Obon: What's it all about? (13th August 2014)
Enjoy a fireworks festival in Japan this summer (22nd July 2014)
The weird and wonderful world of Japanese ice cream (4th August 2009)