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While North America has its silly Groundhog’s Day festivities on February 2, Japan counters with even sillier Setsubun celebrations on February 3. 

Festivities take place at temples, shrines and family homes. Usually the oldest male in the house puts on an oni (ogre or demon) mask and the rest of the people throw fukumame, literally “fortune beans” but really just dried soy beans, at them, then slam the door in the oni‘s big red face, while shouting “Demons out! Luck in!” to ceremonially expel demons from their homes and welcome good fortune for the coming year.

Some Japanese dog owners altered the celebrations a little this year, making their dogs the oni and thus creating the cutest little “demons” you’ll ever see. 

▼ Online store Rakuten is really good at advertising. Only a real oni would be able to pass up buying this adorable outfit.

▼ “…this puppy looks just like Ten-chan from Urusei Yatsura… How could I throw beans at something so cute?!”

setsudog 3

Twitter (@AsukeYashiki)

▼ You couldn’t really call cutie Pino-chan a scary oni.

▼ Instead of beans, they’re going to throw small snacks at Nico-chama. Lucky dog!

▼ “A Setsubun dog. It really suits him somehow!”

▼ “Setsubun = Oni-ken (Demon dog).”

▼ The dog’s saying, “Don’t hit me with any more beans!”

▼ This oni dog sure is cute, but what’s even cuter is that this is a picture from last year, which the owner posted because he missed his best friend (who’s still living with his parents) so much. Life’s hard when you move away from your pets.

▼ That mask is so small!

▼ This oni dog, Potato, would make even the heart of a real demon ache.

▼ He may be small, but you sure don’t want to mess with this club-wielding oni-ken! 

▼ They say “Three’s company,” but when it’s three oni dogs, three’s trouble (and adorably so)!

▼How embarrassed do you think this dog is, being dressed like that in front of its peers?

▼ This pooch knows he looks good, so he’s struttin’ his stuff.

Who needs to throw beans? These dogs are prepared to fight the oni off themselves!

▼ This dog is not about to let that oni get away!

▼ “Dogs vs. Oni mask (with treats inside). But the dogs wouldn’t even move one step near it. Some watchdogs they are…”

Those dogs who weren’t enticed into playing the oni role, still got to participate in the bean-throwing, kind of…

▼ “I wan-t that bean…”

▼ It seems to be that dogs really like dried soy beans…

▼ This dog was playing the oni, but in the end, found the bean throwing so much fun he didn’t run away. I hope that’s not bad luck!

▼ After all the festivities were done, this little doggy took the burden of cleaning up all of the beans upon herself– and enjoyed every second of it.

▼ These lucky dogs got fortune bean treats!

There’s no way the cats of Japan were about to let the dogs get all of the attention on Setsubun! Enter: Oni cat.

▼ Putting an oni costume on a cat may actually bring out its inner demon, but it’s totally worth it.

oni cat

Nekocamera via Twitter (k5_ch)

▼ Is this an actual demon cat? Those horns look so natural!

▼ Oni mask + adorable kitten = Inevitable selfie-cat.

▼ He may be angry, but nobody cares because he’s just too cute!!

▼ Beans make great toys for kitties!

Setsubun is an odd, but fun-filled holiday in Japan. Who thought it could get even better?! Hopefully, the animals played their roles well and everyone got the demons out, the luck in, and is ready for a great up-coming year!

Source: Naver Matome
Top Image: Instagram (@nasumi05)