Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Good spirits in! Bad spirits out!


Setsubun! Grit loves this festival! It means running across the icy snow in the black darkness, entering the warm and welcoming, bright Buddhist temple, quickly taking off our shoes to show the holes in our socks, rubbing our wet noses with cold fingers, and whispering HUSH! HUSH! in loud voices as we are swept into a dark room where the bean throwers pelt a crowd of children and adults with roasted soy beans and Smarties. Then we scrabble around the floor, bump heads and fall over while greedily collecting as many beans and Smarties as we can, chanting Good spirits in! Bad spirits out!

And if this is not enough, there's hot sweetcorn soup, vegetable noodles, and trifle, eaten cross legged on the floor.

Now I'm not sure what this all means, except a free dinner, but it has given me a hope that for the immediate future, I can chase away any ugly ogres by throwing beans at them. And in the case of Shark, Squirrel and Tiger, Smarties.

And with no better plan in mind for these trying times, I shall try it.

3 comments:

Brad said...

Beans can be deadly!

Don't make me tell you the story of getting a coffee bean stuck up my nose...

Mud in the City said...

If your children are 'doing' festivals around now, and fancy something a little gory, how about the Hindu Thaipusam festival I saw in Singapore last year and in KL this year: http://www.pbase.com/robert/thaipusam

Supplicants go into a trance and pierce their flesh with big knitting needles. Ugh. But they really don't seem to feel any pain. Strangley riveting...

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Only eat the Smarties, though. The beans will give you gas. Trifle sounds very good, it's all worth it for that.