Setsubun is the change of season in Japan. At the end of winter demons come out and are chased away by people throwing beans at them. There are some traditions like for new years as well. You have to eat a whole roll (and by that I mean a whole length, not just the one bite piece you normally get) of sushi, with your eyes closed, facing in the direction of luck (this changes every year), silently praying for whatever you want to pray for. We did this in class and so I couldn’t really take any pictures.
After school we went to two different shrines to see the festivities. At the first one you could pose with some of the demons (here you can see me with two of them). We wanted to take pictures with them, but before even be able to ask friends to hold the camera, we were almost pushed by a lot of Japanese people who wanted to take pictures of us with the demon.
Then there is this thing where a lot of people throw beans (in small packages) at the masses and chant ‘ani wa soto, fuku wa uchi’ (approximately: devils out, luck in). Everybody rushes to catch some and I was remembered of carneval in Cologne but with beans instead of sweets.
In school they told us about fish heads on sticks of holly, but we didn’t see any of this… luckily 😀
I caught some more impressions on video here: