Japanese old calendar says winter ended yesterday(3rd Feb) and it’s the beginning of spring today. It’s called “Setsubun(節分)”.
What we did yesterday was to throw and scatter roasted soy beans inside and outside our houses with saying “Get goblins out of the house! Invite happiness into the home!”
After that, we ate beans for each year of our age, and pray for luck of the year. Also, we ate rolled sushi “ehoumaki” facing the year’s lucky direction. 2016 was South-southeast. The important thing is No Talking in order not to release the luck while eating.
I really think it is very unique traditional Japanese culture. The origin is in more than a thousand years from ancient China. For several hundreds years, it had not changed. But it has been changing very recently.
The culture of eating sushi rolls has spread just in recent decade. Originally, it was a custom of Middle West area of Japan like Osaka. Popular convenience stores started selling the rolls, and it has spread around Japan dramatically.
I personally accept the transformation of culture in a good way if the essence of it doesn’t change. The saddest thing is losing the tradition and culture. I hope this unique event doesn’t disappear for another thousand years in the future as well.