Today is Setsubun! Setsubun is a traditional ceremony to drive evil spirits out of the home before the arrival of spring. It is celebrated on February 3rd each year and has many rituals and traditions that are enjoyed by adults and children alike.We started our day with “mamemaki” which is bean throwing. We practiced how to shout “oni wa soto!” (Devil out!) and “fuku wa uchi!” (Good luck in!). We made two teams one for the oni team and another for the throwing beans team. Four of our friends put on our oni masks to pretend to be oni, and the rest of our friends threw the paper balls at the oni. There were many paper balls on the carpet, so we were very busy picking them up and to throw them again. After our “mamemaki”, we ate real beans. It is also customary to eat as many roasted beans as your age. It is a kind of charm against bad luck. You will be healthy for the whole year if you eat “mame” when it is Setsubun. Hisami asked us how old we were. Most of us were three or four years old. Each of us got the same number of beans as our age to eat. The beans were yummy! We wanted to eat more than our age. What shall we do? Our teachers were thinking what we could do, and we could have more beans after snack time luckily.Just before snack time, we had another special activity. Today is Maki’s birthday. She is a teacher in buds class. We went to buds class to celebrate her birthday. Her party was very cheerful and musical because John was playing the guitar for us. We sang the “Happy birthday song” and “If you are happy and you know it” along with John’s guitar. It is fun to sing with musical instruments. Thank you for the beautiful guitar playing, John. Have a wonderful birthday, Maki.Giorgia’s mom Rosella brought us some beautiful pink flowers this morning. They were very long and had many flowers and buds. We wanted to share them with all our friends in petals class, so we cut them shorter and wrapped them with some nice orange paper. Everyone tried to smell the flowers with our noses, to feel the flower on our cheeks. They did not smell very strong, but we enjoyed touching the petals carefully with our fingers. It might be a lovely present for our families. We hope that you enjoy this lovely present from Giorgia’s mom. Thank you, Rosella!On the way to the park, Michaela and Giorgia were very busy finding Oni’s. They found some Oni’s behind the buildings and on the street, and we shouted “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!” every single time. We were very sure that no more Oni’s around our school today. We also sang a Japanese oni song. This song is very popular on Setsubun. Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi. Para para para para Mame no oto. Oni wa kossori nigete yuku.
It says, go away Oni, come in good luck. We can hear the sound of mame, para para para. Now the Oni is running away.We hope that all of our friends and their family can spend the year healthily and happily. Please enjoy Setsubun at home!!!