Though it was quite warm for a few days in January, it’s been nothing but cold since February started, and has even been snowing quite a bit. February 4th was supposedly the first day of spring, and the day before that was Sestubun. This day is celebrated by throwing soybeans out the door and saying “Orges go out! Luck comes in!” (I wonder if it has any connection to the legend that a vampire could be distracted by scattering seeds which they would be compelled to stop and count before attacking.) Though an old tradition, it’s been giving a modern twist by astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who attempted to recreate the ritual in zero G.