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The “first day of spring” (Risshun) falls on a day early in February (around the 4th, depending on the year), even though the weather is still very cold. The day before the first day of spring is called Setsubun and is marked with “tossing beans” (mamemaki), a ritual for driving away evil and ushering in good luck. Another custom, originating in one part of the country, is eating a thick sushi roll known as ehomaki—made to symbolize the club carried by demons of folklore—while facing in the auspicious direction for the year. Recently the custom has spread around the country and ehomaki can be found on sale in many supermarkets and department stores.
Valentine’s Day became established in Japan in the 1970s. It originated in Japan as an occasion for a woman to present a man she liked with chocolates, but recently women and girls use it as a time to make presents of chocolates more generally to friends and associates. Especially among elementary and secondary schools students, many girls take time to make homemade chocolates for their friends.

Holidays: National Foundation Day (Kenkoku Kinenbi; February 11)