Friday, February 25, 2011

Setsubun in Kyoto 2011 きょとうのせつぶん

Happiness in - demons out!!

Setsubun is the end of one season and the start of the new, in this case saying goodbye to winter and hello to a new year  -  according to the old lunar calendar (also Chinese New Year).

OK, so I am a little late with this post being that Setsubun is celebrated over 2/3 Feb but had to leave for Tokyo early the next morning...  and there is that small matter of a book that needs chipping away at..

A large crew enjoyed another fabulous dinner at Mark Hovane's place where, while chanting as per above,  we threw beans at the 3 Oni who climbed in through the shoji -sending them on their merry way.

A nice uphill jaunt to the Setsubun Matsuri (festival) bonfire at Yoshida jinja (shrine) provided some much needed exercise after all that great "pot luck" food.   Half of Kyoto were there throwing last year's amulets, lucky charms, fortunes and any documents (eg old love letters - that you simply need to release the energy from)  into the raging flames in order to move forward into the new year. 

On leaving, and after pushing our way out through the sake soaked crowds, we noticed a normally locked part of the shrine -was open. Apparently they only allow entry to the public at Setsubun so we made the most of the opportunity - adding an extra sprinkling of magic to the already precious vibe.

Yet another fine night in Kyoto town. Here are a few snaps:  
Oni 1,2,3

Find your town and make a wish. Above is the kanji for Kyoto's original name so I made sure to stop here, it is MY town after all...  sadly I will be heading home soon.  But I WILL be back!!

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