Nagano Setsubun Festival
Setsubun (節分) means the last day of winter, or the day before the beginning of spring. It is held on February 3rd every year. This day is also known as the Bean-Throwing Festival in English.
In Japanese tradition, it is believed that when one season changes into an other, evil spirits becomes active and come into the human world. And in order to exorcise the evil spirits, bean-throwing events are held at many temples and shrines all over Japan.
Zenkoji-temple has its long history of celebrating Setsubun and holds the biggest bean-thrown event in Nagano. At this event called “Nagano Setsubun Festival (長野節分会),” people gather in front of the temple hall and try to catch bean-sacks thrown from the temple building.