February, 7th, 2013 Praying for good health for this year

Hi, this is Gokaichi. Have you ever heard of "Setsubun"? It is a traditional event in Japan to chase out evil spirit and pray for good health for that year. On the evening of the day, we yell, "Out with the ogre! In with the happiness!" while scattering parched soy beans inside and outside our homes. It may sound odd, but we seriously do it. (Laugh)

In most cases, fathers put on the mask of ogre and pretend to be evil spirit. And kids have fun throwing the beans while chasing the father. Well, in my case this year, I tried to be as agre-looking as possible as you can see here. The result? A big success. My son cried like crazy looking at me. We also have a tradition to eat a special sushi-roll called "Eho-maki"on that day. Eho means good and lucky direction and Maki means roll. We are supposed to face a specified good direction and eat without speaking. Aren't such traditions interesting? What are the unique traditions in your country? See you!

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