So today is Setsubun...the Japanese Bean Throwing Festival/Ceremony. It's kind of like New Years Eve. Today is considered to be the first day of spring. Um, it is so very un-spring like here it's not even funny. As I write this it is only 3F with a windchill of -10F. Hey, it's supposed to get all the way up to 13F. Yup. Sounds like spring to me. Better get out the soccer ball and sidewalk chalk.
Anyhow, what you are supposed to do on Setsubun is throw dried soybeans out your front door or at a person wearing a Oni (ogre or demon) mask. While you are doing this you say "Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi." This means Demons out, good luck in!
I found this cool print out through Hiragana Mama of a great mask to color. If you click on the link to Hiragana Mama you'll also get to see the wonderful video of "Ogre Underpants" which has provided several hours of entertainment for Blockette. So today we colored in our wonderful masks, but we didn't have any soybeans dried or otherwise. I had some red lentils so we threw those out the door instead. We also growled at each other with our masks. I don't think that is part of the tradition, but it was fun.
Another thing you are supposed to do is eat a bean for every year of your age. It's supposed to bring on good health for the rest of the year. Again since we didn't have any beans I wasn't sure what to do. I heard that you could use peanuts, but we didn't have any of those either.
Blockette suggested M&Ms. Well, they were peanut butter M&Ms so that counts right? Sort of? Then Blockette realized that 5 M&Ms is a lot less than 35 M&Ms. I should have probably felt a little bit guilty about that, but I'm mean and I didn't. I feel like I earned everyone of those M&Ms. I told Blockette that we could always eat real beans next year and she scrunched up her face and not a word was said further about the issue. I did give Blockette 6 M&M's because according to her she is "almost" 6. I must not be too mean because I plan on giving her some more M&Ms after lunch. Maybe I'm loosin my touch!