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Celebrating Setsubun in Okinawa: A Slightly Irreverent Guide

Ready to chase out some demons and chow down on sushi rolls the size of a small torpedo? That’s right, it’s Setsubun time! Let’s dive into this quirky festival in Japan with a bit of a Okinawa twist.

What the Heck is Setsubun? 🤔

Setsubun is like the New Year’s Eve of the old lunar calendar, except instead of dropping a ball, we’re flinging beans and eating in complete silence. It’s the day before each season starts, but the one we care about is before spring, cause let’s face it, spring rocks and we’re all sick of winter, right? In 2024, it’s happening on February 3. Mark your calendars, or don’t, I can’t tell you what to do.

Mamemaki: Bean Throwing Extravaganza 🌱

Alright, let’s talk bean-throwing, because who doesn’t want to pelt their family with legumes while shouting like a lunatic? Here’s your step-by-step guide:

  • Step 1: Get your beans. Roasted soybeans, not jelly beans (sorry, sweet tooths).
  • Step 2: Find your inner demon. Or just pretend your mother-in-law is in the room.
  • Step 3: Yell “Demons out, luck in!” or “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!” if you’re feeling traditional. Or just yell “Get lost, bad vibes!”
  • Step 4: Throw those beans around like you’re making it rain at a bean-themed nightclub.
  • Step 5: Eat your age in beans, plus one, because who doesn’t want to be one year older and wiser after a snack?

Ehomaki: Sushi Roll Silence Challenge 🍣

Next up, Ehomaki. This isn’t your average sushi roll. It’s a silent, directionally-challenged eating marathon.

  • Step 1: Grab an Ehomaki. It’s like a sushi burrito, and who doesn’t love a good burrito?
  • Step 2: Find this year’s lucky direction. It’s like a culinary compass. No GPS allowed.
  • Step 3: Eat it in silence. That’s right, no talking. If you thought family dinners were awkward before, just wait.
  • Step 4: Think happy thoughts or your grocery list, whatever floats your boat, while munching away.

Other Wacky Traditions 🐟

And if throwing beans and silent sushi eating weren’t enough, we also hang sardine heads and holly leaves at our doors. Why? Because demons apparently hate the smell of fish and the sight of holiday decor. Who knew?

Pro Tip: The Lazy Person’s Guide to Setsubun 🛒

So, you’re thinking, “This sounds great, but who has the time to DIY a demon-fighting festival?” Fear not, my convenience-loving friends. This is Okinawa, where even tradition comes with a shortcut.

Beans and Demon Masks: The One-Stop Shop Solution 😈

Heading to your local grocery store for milk? Great, you can pick up your Setsubun survival kit too. Most stores around here sell a nifty package that includes roasted beans and a demon mask. That’s right, you can get your snacks and your scares in one convenient place.

  • The Beans: Perfect for throwing, eating, or both, if you’re a multitasker.
  • The Demon Mask: Ideal for scaring your neighbors, your cat, or just for taking weird selfies.

And the best part? You don’t have to craft anything. Because who has the time between Netflix and, well, more Netflix?

Ehomaki: Sushi on the Go 🍣

Now, for the Ehomaki, just swing by any convenience or grocery store. These rolls are as ubiquitous as misplaced flip-flops on the beach.

  • Convenience Stores: They’ve got Ehomaki that’s more convenient than a pocket on a shirt. Just grab and go.
  • Grocery Stores: For those of you feeling a bit more gourmet, or at least as gourmet as you can get with a giant sushi roll.

Remember, it’s all pre-made, because who really wants to roll sushi when you can just roll into a store and buy it?

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. Setsubun in Okinawa, where tradition meets convenience in a match made in heaven (or maybe just in the local store). Grab your bean and demon mask pack, snag an Ehomaki, and you’re all set.

Happy demon hunting, folks! Remember, it’s all in good fun – unless you’re an actual demon, then, well, good luck. 🎭