二月〈如月〉February / Kisaragi



三日

3rd

立春の前日が節分。春を待つ行事ではあるものの、この時期の京都は最も寒い。魔除けの柊に鰯の頭を刺して玄関口に置く風習や恵方巻を食べたり、豆を撒いて「鬼は外!福は内!」と唱えるのは豆で鬼(邪気)を追い払う意味。また、年齢よりもひとつ多く豆を食べると一年間、無病息災と信じられています。

京都市、吉田山にある吉田神社の節分祭には三日間で数万人が毎年参詣します。

The day before Risshun, the first day of spring on the lunar calendar, is called Setsubun. In Kyoto this is typically the coldest period of the year, making that day one on which the anticipation of spring is at its most concentrated. Owing to a very concrete understanding of the abstract concepts of inside and outside the home, and to the symbolic value of Setsubun as being like a “doorway” between two very different seasons, there are acts that signify its importance. People place a sort of wreath decoration comprising holly and a dried sardine’s head at the entrance of their house. They eat a special variety of sushi, ehomaki, solely at this time. And they engage in a playful ritual where they stand at the entrance to the home and toss handfuls of soybeans out into the open. “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!” they shout, “Demons out, good fortune in!” And it’s said that if one eats the number of soybeans equal to one’s years, plus one, it’ll add another healthy year to their life. The Setsubun festival at the Yoshida Mountain shrine in Kyoto attracts tens of thousands of pilgrimages over three days annually.

四日~五日

4th and 5th

二十四節気の一番目が立春。新暦の2月4~5日頃、天文学的には太陽が黄経315度の点を通過する時をいいます。昔から、この日の前夜を年越しと考える風習があり、正月節ともいいます。この時期の京都はまだまだ寒いですが、歴の上では春の始まりで、太陽が高くなり、光が明るさを増す為、春の気立ちを感じ始める頃でもあります。この日の早朝、禅寺では入口に「立春大吉」と書かれたお札を貼ります。

The lunar calendar has 24 seasonally designated periods, and Risshun represents the beginning of the cycle. It falls around the fourth or fifth of February, specifically when the sun reaches a 315 degree position in the sky. The night that precedes it was thought of since antiquity as a special portal through which the entire previous year “passes away”, and the days following are the traditional lunar New Year. It’s still rather chilly in Kyoto, but with the sun high against the horizon and the days seeming longer, these days become a meditation on the subtle heralds of spring to come. On these mornings Zen temples post talismans at their entrances with symbols representing the spring and good fortune.

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