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How We Celebrated Setsubun!

5 Feb


Oh my goodness, last week was so busy I barely had time to breathe! I meant to put up this post last week but…. obviously I never got around to it.

Anyway, the week leading up to Setsubun was a lot of fun. We began by drawing and coloring oni faces using oil pastels. Oil pastel crayons are the coloring material of choice at preschools in Japan. I love them too because the colors are bright and the color slides effortlessly onto the paper (only downside is that it’s not very washable… parental supervision is important for young kids).



To draw your own oni, begin by drawing the outline of the face. Then add horns, or “tsuno”. In Japanese cartoons, ogres usually have yellow, striped horns. Then add some curly hair and other facial features. I love how creative my daughter was with her oni.

We invited some friends over for a Setsubun Playdate. The children colored oni masks that I printed onto cardstock from KF Studio.




We then made boxes to hold our beans out of origami paper.


I didn’t want to be cleaning up beans in my house to I had the children toss their beans out the door, saying “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!”.

We finished the playdate by making maki-sushi and eating them facing the lucky direction of the year.


My daughter also learned about Setsubun at her Japanese preschool. They made these cute oni boxes using a milk carton and construction paper. Can you tell my daughter turned her oni into a princess?


Did you do anything to celebrate Setsubun this year? What’s the next Japanese holiday you are looking forward to?

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