Setsubun Festival

Setsubun Festival

Japan is known to have the most unique and beautiful festivals in the world that carry different meanings. Most festivals celebrated in Japan are to make evil escape society so that fortune and happiness can return. 

One such festival is Setsubun. This festival is famous for bean eating and bean throwing. Do you want to know more about this festival, why it is celebrated, when, and how people celebrate it? I’ll tell you just about that in this article.

If you are interested in learning about more Japanese Festivals/ East Asian Holidays then click on the given link Japanese Festivals/ East Asian Holidays

What’s the Setsubun Festival?

Setsubun is a traditional Japanese festival celebrated one day after the start of the spring. This festival celebrates the arrival of spring and the end of the winter. This festival aims to ward off the evil from the country and return the fortune to the society. It is celebrated each year from February 3rd to 4th. Early February marks the end of winter with this Japanese festival.

A prominent custom involves “mamemaki,” where people throw roasted soybeans called Setsubun festival beans, shouting, “Out with demons! In with happiness!” This ritual is believed to drive away evil spirits and usher in good luck and health for the coming year.

History of Setsubun Festival

Japan celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring with this festival. It’s an ancient tradition that dates to ancient China, where people believed evil spirits appeared during the change of seasons. To get rid of the demons, they threw beans and shouted, “Out with the demons! In with the fortune!” 

This festival is celebrated in Japan on February 3rd, and it’s a lot of fun. People go to temples or shrines for bean-throwing events, where they get to catch beans and other prizes from celebrities. In addition, they eat eho-maki sushi rolls while facing the lucky direction. Some people even dress up as demons and throw beans. 

In what locations Setsubun Festival is Celebrated?

This Festival is celebrated across different states like Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, and other rural areas. Other than that, people living in different parts of Japan go to different temples and shrines on this particular day to celebrate this day greatly.

When is the Setsubun Festival 2023,2024, 2025, and 2026?

If you’re looking for the date of this festival, In 2023, mate you’re quite late. This festival has already been celebrated in February. So, now you’ll need to watch for this festival in 2024. The dates for the day are mentioned below in the table.

How do people Celebrate Setsubun?

This is celebrating glory in Japan by organizing different events. Let’s walk through each event now.

1. Bean-Throwing Ritual (Mamemaki)

Setsubun Festival

In this festival, people throw roasted soybeans and scream, “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Out with the demons! In with happiness!”). They believe this drives away evil spirits and brings good fortune.

2. Ehomaki Sushi Roll

Setsubun Festival

A special sushi roll called “ehomaki” is eaten without cutting it into pieces. Ehomaki is thought to bring good luck for the year ahead if eaten while facing a specific direction.

3. Decorations and Masks

Setsubun Festival

The houses are decorated with holly leaves and sardine heads, considered symbols of protection and good luck. Some people wear demon masks to symbolize being driven away from evil spirits.

4. Fortune Telling

Setsubun Festival

In some celebrations, fortune-telling ceremonies are part of the festivities. People go to shrines and temples to discover their fortune for the coming year, seeking God’s guidance and insight.

5. Family Gatherings


During this event, families tend to come together to perform the rituals, share food, and enjoy the exciting atmosphere of this Japanese spring festival. Children, in particular, enjoy watching the bean-throwing activity because it can be very entertaining.

6. Public Events

Setsubun Festival

Many temples and shrines host public Setsubun events where people can participate in the ceremonies, enjoy traditional performances, and even participate in the bean-throwing ritual, which is held in many cases.

7. Cleansing Rituals

Setsubun Festival

 It is typical for some people to perform purification rituals by tossing beans at family members to purify them from evil spirits, a practice known as “mamemaki at home.”

8. Charity

Setsubun Festival

In some regions, This festival is associated with charitable activities. People donate beans and other essentials to those in need as a way of spreading good fortune and kindness.


Setsubun Festival is a traditional festival in Japan that people celebrate to celebrate the spring and end the day of winter. Besides that, the people of Japan celebrate this day by eating and throwing beans to ward off evil so that good fortune and happiness can come to society. Every year, this day is observed from the 3rd to the 4th of February.

What is Setsubun and how is it celebrated?

It is a Japanese festival marking the start of spring on February 3rd, celebrated with bean-throwing rituals to ward off evil spirits and invite good fortune.

Is Setsubun a national holiday in Japan?

No, it is not a national holiday in Japan, it’s a cultural event rooted in Shinto and Buddhist traditions, symbolizing the transition to a new season.

What religion is Setsubun?

It is associated with Shinto and Buddhist practices, blending indigenous beliefs with religious elements.

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