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A young girl in a formal kimono holding  a large bag.
Cultural Holidays
  1. Calendars in Japan
  2. Fortune Calendar (Rokuyō)
  3. Events of the New Year's Period: Matsunouchi and Koshōgatsu
  4. Bean Throwing Day or Setsubun (February 3)
  5. Valentine’s Day (February 14)
  6. Doll Festival (March 3)
  7. White Day (March 14)
  8. Cherry Blossom Viewing Season or Hanami (late March to early April)
  9. Boys' Day, Children's Day, or Tango no Sekku (May 5)
  10. Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May)
  11. Father’s Day (third Sunday in June)
  12. Star Festival or Tanabata (July 7)
  13. Summer Greetings or Shochū Mimai (late July to early August)
  14. Summer Gift-Giving Season or Ochūgen
  15. Obon
  16. Seven-Five-Three or Shichigosan (November 15)
  17. Christmas Day (December 25)
  18. Winter Gift Giving Season or Oseibo
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A priest in formal attire stands at the corner of a building, arm outstretched, throwing beans
A priest throws out beans on Setsubun, warding off evil spirits.
Photo from Channel Insight, Ltd.
Bean Throwing Day or Setsubun (February 3)
Setsubun is the day before risshun, the first day of spring in the old calendar. According to the new calendar, setsubun falls on February 3rd or 4th. It is Japanese tradition to scatter roasted beans on this day to chase way evils and troubles. People toss beans around inside and outside their houses chanting, “Demons out, good luck in!” Tradition holds that you will be healthy for the rest of the year if you eat the same number of beans as your age. On setsubun, shrines host bean-scattering events, archery demonstrations, and other ceremonies to drive away evil. In contrast, there are some areas in Japan that have shrines dedicated to a demon god, or that have legends of demons helping humans. In these areas, people may scatter their beans chanting, “In with demons!” The tradition of tossing beans on setsubun is a popular form of the ceremony of tsuina, a court ceremony that began in the Heian era (794-1185 CE).
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