Yaikagashi (burn and smell) at Setsubun

On Setsubun day (February 3rd), there is a culture to make "Yaikagashi" (a holly sprig with a baked sardine's head). Japanese people have a time-honored custom of putting this "Yaikagashi"at their door on Setsubun (the traditional end of winter) to ward off evil spirits. They may look a little bit spooky if you see it for the first time without knowing the custom, but it's one of our interesting traditional customs. :-)

by Hideki Tazawa

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