winter fades away
crocus breaking snowy crust
spring’s golden promise
©2019 Linda Lee Lyberg
Author’s Note: Chèvrefeuille has given us a classical kigo to work with, along with a brief explanation. Setsubun: The last day of winter. Features ritualistic chasing of devils out of the house, allowing good luck for the spring (the traditional New Year). Compares to the English ritual of opening front and back doors.
Setsubun is an annual Japanese festival on February 3rd. Setsubun is the beginning of Spring according to the old Japanese lunar calendar. It’s traditionally believed that the spirit world comes closer to our world at this time of year. Strips of paper with people’s wishes inscribed on them are placed over the lanterns. It’s thought that wishes may be granted on Setsubun, but they also think that, through the idea of having the spirit world closer by at this event, demons can escape to our world.