According to an old lunar calender, spring starts on February 4th. One day before the beginning of spring, February 3rd, "Bean Throwing Ceremony" is held all over Japan to drive away devils or evil. February 3rd is called Setsubun ( 節分) ,meaning parting of seasons, winter and spring.
This ceremony is held not only in temples or shrines but also in homes. To practice this ritual is very easy. Just throw roasted soy beans shouting "Devils out, Good luck in !".
at Kofuku-ji Temple
Kofuku-ji Temple is famous for "Driving Away Devils Ceremony" , part of "Bean Throwing Ceremony" held on February 3rd . Six devils appear on the terrace of East Main Hall of Kofuku-ji Temple and run noisily,scaring people by wielding torches and weapons.
Eventually Buddhist deity(毘沙門天） races in and vanquishes devils.
Now they are running away!
Interestingly enough, six devils are family members of three generations. According to Kofuku-ji Temple' explanation, they are grandfather, father, mother and three children. Oh,poor devils!
He is the youngest one.
Mother and son
These are the masks used in "Driving Away Devils Ceremony" in Kofuku-ji Temple.
After the ceremony, the temple gives people a small paper packet of roasted soy beans.
This is another charm to drive away devils- a twig of holly with the head of sardine
Pointy leaves of holly hurt evil.
Devils hate the fishy smell of sardine.
People put this charm by the entrance of a house.
In olden days, people believed that bad things, such as disease, natural disasters, bad weather, fires and more, were brought by evil or devils. Thanks to science development, we need to be less afraid of many of them. While watching the devils rampaging on the terrace of East Main Hall, I thought they would symbolize also our inner evil. Maybe the last evil to be driven away is our foul heart.
By the way, did you eat roasted soy beans, the same number of your age? I ate them and got full!
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