Feb 3rd is Setsubun, one of the spring festivals in Japan. On this day we Japanese people have a special practice called Mamemaki (bean scattering) to cleanse away all all evil of the former year and drive away disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come. Akaoni or Red ogre is used as a symbol of evil spirits. in every household (not all household in Japan though) family members throw roasted soybeans called fukumame or fortune beans out the door or at the family member wearing Oni mask while they say "demon out! Luck in!" I know this is very strange custom but I guess this is another way to celebrate the New Year.