Feb 2, 2010

Setsubun (The Day Before The Beginning Of Spring).

Setsubun of 2010 is Feb. 3rd.
Because it is based on the movement of heavenly bodies, a date of Setsubun is different each year.
Setsubun is the day before the beginning of spring that is called "Risshun".
It dates back to the 9 century's aristocracy custom, so it's an old event.

● Mame-maki (bean-scattering ceremony)
People throw roasted soybeans or peanuts and drive away devils out of house, temple or shrine. In some temples and shrines, Sumo wrestler, Maiko, and movie or TV stars throw beans.

At that time, people usually say "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!".
It means "Devils Out! Good Luck In!".
And after that, people eat thrown beans of the same number as their age or their next age to wish for good health.

Recently, some beans are sold together with paper mask of Oni (ogre / devil) at supermarkets. Someone (mainly father) wear the mask, and other members of family throw beans at him.

● Hiragi Iwashi / Yaikagashi (holly & sardine)
It is traditionally said that Oni hate Hiragi (holly) and Iwashi (sardine).
So people stab twig of holly into grilled sardine's head, and put it on the door.

● Eho-maki / Eho-zushi (fortune Sushi roll)
It's a newer and local custom started at Osaka area in 19 or 20 century.
This custom had been almost fading away once, but it had spread among the people living around Osaka again in 1980's.
And this few years, a lot of convenience-store-chain started to sell Eho-maki, and Eho-maki had spread throughout Japan.

Eho-maki is a special name of Maki-zushi / Nori-maki (rolled Sushi) that is eaten on Setsubun. People face Eho (the lucky direction of the year), eat it in silence without stopping and imagine their hope.
It's said that good fortune will be gone if he or she speak.
The lucky direction of 2010 is west-southwest.

OK, now, I'd like to show you Eho-maki made by my mother. :)
She is making Eho-maki for more than 30 years.

- plain omelet
- cooked freeze-dried tofu
- cooked carrot
- cooked shiitake mushroom
- boiled spinach
- yellow pickled radish

Spreading vinegared-rice over the Nori (dried laver sheet).
Cutting all of ingredients into strips and putting them onto the rice.

And now Roll!

It's so delicious! :):)

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