February 3: Setsubun , snd A snow morning
by Mie
I got up in the morning with a feeling somewhat colder than usual, and opened the curtain slightly....... Wow, snow!
I dashed out with a digital camera in hand to see snow flakes coming down quietly from the crispy gray sky. It is past seven a.m.

The Japanese lily (left) blooms beautifully in the coldness. I gathered and planted small buds of pansy that had been shooting from here and there in the garden. I made a small flower pod like this (right.) The pansies have just started to hold flowers under the snow.
I went out and stood on a spot from which I usually view Mt. Yufu, but I can see nothing but gray sky and scattering snow flakes. I imagine the mountain has already covered with thick now down to the slope. My tinny house also has a thin snow coat on the roof. TV warns this morning that a cold air mass will come down whole through Japan and most parts, even southern Kyushu, will have snow falls. In such coldness, students and businessmen are hurrying on their ways. Please be careful all of you.

Bean scattering

Today is one of the 24 seasonal points of the year. We have an event called "Scattering parched beans" to drive out evil spirits and summon good luck. Many temple and kindergartens carry out the event. I usually enjoy the event after dark. I parched beans in a small frying pan until they released an aroma, then put them into a tiny square-shaped measure. Now the preparation is ready.
My husband opened all the doors of the house, and then he cast the beans out by shouting "Ogres out!" and then cast in them saying "Lucks in!" It is said that if you pick up scattered beans in the house and eat them, you will be healthy all through the year. It has already been many years ago that we picked beans up to the same number of our ages and ate them. Today, we eat them only a small amount.

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