Spring Equinox Festival (Setsubun-sai) – 節分祭

Every year on February 3rd

Taking place throughout Japan on February 3rd, Setsubun indicates the beginning of spring. It is accompanied with a bean-throwing ceremony (Mame-maki) to cleanse all the evil of the former year and drive away disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come. Such ceremonies are held in the many shrines around Matsue. The most popular ceremony is held in Kumano Taisha Shrine in southern Matsue. It takes place in the early afternoon, and city officials, such as the mayor and governor, often have the honour of tossing the beans.