February 3rd… Setsubun means “seasonal division.” Under the nijushi-sekki, the Lunar calendar system with 24 seasonal divisions that expressed the subtle changes in the four seasons, risshun was considered a marker of the new year when winter ended and spring began. Setsubun, the day before nisshun, has long been cherished like New Year’s Eve.
On the day of Setsubun, the custom is to throw roasted soybeans called fukumame while saying “Demons out! Luck in!” to drive away the evil spirits. They are called fukumame because they bring fuku (luck and happeness).
You eat the number of beans of your age to pray for a safe year.