Setsubun is a Japanese festival day held between the second to the fourth days of February. Although it is not a public holiday, the day is still well known for Japanese people to perform rituals right before Spring begins in the Japanese lunar calendar.
It is also known as the Bean-Throwing Festival as the most famous ritual associated with Setsubun is mamemaki ("bean scattering"). In the ritual roasted soybeans, known as fukumame ("fortune beans") are either thrown out of the front door, or at a member of the family wearing a demon or ogre mask while shouting "Devils out! Fortune in!", before slamming the door shut. The beans are thought to purify the home by driving out the evil spirits that bring misfortune and bad health with them.
Setsubun has its origins in tsuina, a Chinese custom introduced to Japan in the 8th century. Although originally practised as part of an individual household's traditions for preparing for the first season of the new year, Setsubun is now mostly observed at various Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and geisha communities.