Each year we celebrate the traditional Japanese Setsubun festival (as part of the Spring festival) on February 3rd marking a Seasonal Division. Setsubun is thought of a New Year’s Eve and features a ritual to cleanse away the evil of the previous year and drive away evil spirits for the year to come. The ritual called is mamemaki (豆撒き) which means ‘bean scattering’.
And so it is that we gathered with a few goodly friends from Pure Orkney and the Blue Lobster Bar to ward off evil spirits from Eastward House. In the cold night air we chanted Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi! whilst throwing roasted soya beans as a command for demons to leave.
This was followed by devouring uncut maki sushi roles in one continuous munch whilst facing that particular years lucky compass direction as defined by the particular zodiac symbol of the year.
Here are a few seconds of people frightening away demons!
"This church had 134 years of weddings, blessings and Sunday school; it must be Inculcated with love, the walls must exude happiness and joy." Keiko Yamaga-White November 2007