While this is the tradition, there are other practices in various areas of the country. Below is a sampling from the news yesterday of practices thought to drive out evil spirits. It is not comprehensive, but it is fun.
1. Crying babies. At Saikyoji temple, there is a yearly competition in which parents try to get their babies to cry by scaring, shaking or pinching them. The baby that cries first, wins. This is because babies who can cry loud are supposedly healthy. Plus, the sound of crying babies drives the evil spirits away. Maybe the spirits think the cries are a symptom of dirty diapers. Maybe they see parents tormenting their children to tears and consider their work done.