Celebrate the changing of seasons with Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden's Setsubun Matsuri (Festival)!

Setsubun is officially held on the day before the beginning of spring in Japan on February 3, as a celebration of the changing of seasons. There are many special rituals that Japanese people participate in, most popular is the throwing of roasted soybeans (called “fortune beans” or fuku mame) at someone dressed up as an Oni (demon or ogre) while yelling “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!”, meaning “Demons out! Good luck in!” This practice wards off evil spirits and brings in good luck for the new season. Then, as part of bringing luck in, it is customary to eat roasted soybeans, one for each year of one’s life and sometimes one more to bring in good luck for the year to come. Another tradition is eating eho-maki, a footlong uncut sushi roll, all at once while making a wish and facing the year’s lucky compass direction (in 2020 the direction is west-south-west).

Setsubun Matsuri at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden - January 31

  • 6-11PM, last entry to the garden is at 10:30PM. Regular admission rates apply
  • Get into the spirit of Setsubun by dressing up as an Oni (demon) - prizes will be awarded to the best dressed Oni!
  • Soybean throwing and music start at 8PM. Music will be provided by DJ Fakir, Opie, and Marty Funkhauser
  • The programming tent will be transformed into an 18+ cash bar to purchase Japanese beer and sake, or purchase a Dancing Polar Bear or add Baileys to your hot chocolate at the concession stand! Drinks are $5 or upgrade a Tomodachi or Kazoku package for $3/person to receive an alcoholic beverage instead of a regular drink. 
  • Purchase your eho-maki sushi roll for $15 (includes garden admission & foot long sushi roll from Lighthouse). Purchase your Setsubun Sushi Roll Package at the garden, only 100 rolls available for purchase.
  • Purchase a bag of roasted soybeans for $2 at the garden. 

Not ready to end the party? California Dream Limousine will be providing a FREE shuttle service to Club Lime every half hour from 9-11PM!


Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is pleased to present the following DJs who will be performing inside the garden from 8-11PM!


DJ Fakir

Champion of the Lethbridge nightclub scene since the mid ‘90s, Chris Fakir (known to many simply as “Fakir”) has become a legendary figure.  Having rocked the party as resident DJ at numerous popular venues he has become well know as a true crowd pleaser.  With a vast repertoire of different musical styles and coming from a musician background, he has one of the most technically proficient and polished performances around.  Fakir is always in demand for his ability to make a party happen and cater to his audience.  Many other local DJs got their start and developed their skills under his tutelage.  A true “one-and-only”, renowned for his ability to read a crowd and take the energy level to 11.

DJ Opie

A mainstay of the local DJ scene, Kris Caldwell AKA “Opie” has been performing in the clubs and pubs for over 20 years.  With styles ranging from hip hop to breakbeat to electro and a dash of top 40, Opie is known as a versatile, high-energy performer.  Being involved in the Lethbridge EDM scene since its earliest days he’s no stranger to the music scene – having performed at numerous LEMF/BassWorks festivals, afterparties, and fundraisers.  A resident at Pulse Nightclub/Club Lime for the past 8 years has made Opie a familiar face to local students - entertaining the College and University community.  With a style that combines the traditional turntable DJ approach with modern sampling, looping, and visuals, Opie brings a unique and dynamic sound to the dance floor.

DJ Marty Funkhauser

Marty Funkhauser, man, myth was born in the thriving metropolis of Taber, Alberta in 19*6. In 2011 he returned to his roots in Lethbridge, Alberta after honing his skills, terrorizing people and crafting his signature grease funk sound for 10 ten years in Vancouver, B.C. Marty loves to freely travel through all things funk and disco, from all out disco edit sets, funky jackin house, mid tempo funk, if it's funky it'll be played. Meticulous track selection and layered mixing is Martys forte. He has been featured twice on DJ Dans legendary Stereo Damage Podcast as well as the House Salad podcast and has opened for a slew of legends including DJ Dan, A. Skillz, Deekline, DJ Brace, Tommy Largo, Neon Steve, Funkanomics, Slynk, Featurecast, Basement Freaks as well as opening for Stickybuds numerous times in Nelson BC, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. The last 3 years have seen him at Shindig Festival (UK), Fozzy Fest 3 years running, Vibrant Music Festival, Bass in the Bush, Moab Pride in Utah with DJ Dan, Vancouver Pride, Edmonton Pride, Astral Harvest as well as being a yearly resident at LEMF. Marty has been a part of the LEMF crew here in Lethbridge since it's inception 7 years ago and has served as President of the organizing committee for the past 3 years handling artist bookings, throwing local shows throughout the year, fundraising and whatever else he can to try and push electronic music to more people in Southern Alberta. LEMF is the only free all ages, family friendly music festival in Southern Alberta which is done solely on grants from the City of Lethbridge and yearly fundraising. Long live funk and disco!