A beautiful day for Setsubun!

Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi” — this is what we shouted when we threw our beans on the ground outside our school on the way to the park. Our teachers laughed a lot because they put beans in our hands (the same ones that we ate yesterday and really enjoyed eating) and then Shelley threw hers so that we would know what to do. Oh no! We were not going to throw ours on the ground; we wanted to put them in our mouths. Shelley had an extra bag of beans for each of us, which she put inside our school bags so we didn’t really have to worry about wasting the ones that she gave us to throw! It was really funny.

We had a beautiful morning with two more mums who came to share “Setsubun” with us and we learnt something different from them. It is great for us to have so many special mums and families who are happy to come to school and teach us new things about the same festival. Today we learnt that the kanji for “Setsubun” means the division of the seasons. We want to chase the “oni” away before the start of Spring.

We also learnt that when you eat your special “Ehoumaki” you need to face the lucky direction for that year; this year the direction is south-south-east, so some of us turned our chairs when we ate ours so that we could bring luck to ourselves for the year ahead. Some people hang a holly branch with a sardine’s head on one end of it as the “oni” doesn’t like the smell of the fish and runs away. People believe that the “mame” (beans) have spiritual power, so, as we throw the beans, it is believed that bad luck is chased out of our homes and good luck is invited into our homes and our lives.

This special drawing was made by Kai san. In this picture you can see our teachers and our friends throwing “mame” outside our school and shouting "Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!"

We had a treat and made our own “Ehoumaki” with moms Chiaki and Kai san. They prepared seven delicious things that we could use in our “Ehoumaki”. We had cheese, avocado, egg, cucumber, crab meat, sausage and sweet, pink cod fish. First we laid our “nori” on the sushi mat; we put rice on and used wet fingers to smooth it onto the “nori”. Then we added the seven things and if there was something that we didn’t want to eat, we left it out. We then rolled the mat and the whole thing looked just like the ones you buy in the store. We think that ours were more delicious. We even had some mayonnaise to spread over everything before we rolled the “nori”. Mmmmmmmm! We each had two for our snack and some of us wanted to eat the snack that we had brought from home so we had a huge snack time today. We want to say  a big thank you to Chiaki and Kai for their time and for making these special “Ehoumaki” with us. Hontoni arigatou!

When they left we looked at a book about “oni” that live in caves on the land  and “oni” that live in the ocean on an island. They say that one of them is good and one of them is bad. We are happy that we chased the bad ones away from our school today.

At our activity tables we made a few more links for our daisy chains which are a true work in progress. We played on the mat with our friends before we started our morning circle time. We actually waited for Chiaki and Kai to arrive so that we could do our morning songs with them. We were so surprised when we asked them “What is your name?” which are words in our “Hello” song and………….they knew how to sing the words with their names. Yoohoo!

In the afternoon Darren played number games with us. We have many new songs that we will be learning during the month and one of them is called “I wrote a letter to my love”. Shelley used to sing this song and play the game when she was little so it is extra special for her. Tomorrow we will play the game and one of the activities that we will do, is make our own “love letters”.

Have a great afternoon

Love Shelley and Darren