|Classmates and teacher walking up the stairs|
|Traditional garb - everywhere|
|The shrine itself, with all the people waiting for the ceremony to begin|
|Entrance to the shrine|
Then, after some ringing of gongs and the like, the famous people come out from the temple and chase a "demon" of bad luck outside the temple. They do this by throwing soy beans at him, and yelling 鬼は外。福は内。 (oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi) - Demon get out, luck come in!
|Waiting on famous people|
|Scaring away the "demon"|
|I think it's been subdued at this point, or something...|
|Throwing the soy beans|
Naturally, everyone wants to catch said soy bean bags. Inside each bag is a small piece of paper, and if your piece of paper has a number on it, you win a prize!
Now, because I am taller than your average Japanese person, I managed to catch something like 7 or 8 bags. None of them contained a prize - I was pretty disappointed. Plus, dry soy beans are not that tasty...
And that was your introduction to the Japanese festival of Setsubun!