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【What is “Tsukimi”？When do we celebrate?】
Tsukimi (or Otsukimi) is a Japanese Moon Festival that celebrates both the beauty of the moon and promise of a good harvest for the year. Literally meaning “moon viewing appreciation”, the festival takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese calendar (so the day is different every year). The day is also known as Jugoya (meaning “15th night”).
In 2021, the Jugoya falls on Tuesday, September 21.
By the way, you may see a lot of “rabbits” in Otsukimi pitcures because in ancient times, people in Japan thought craters on the moon looked like a rabbit pounding mochi (rice cakes).
【How do we celebrate Jugoya?】
There are regional variations but in general, you prepare some offerings and place them in moonlight while enjoying the beauty of the autumn full moon. Typically there are no public/official events but large shrines, temples, and other cultural/tourist facilities may organize some gatherings.
What offerings do we prepare? Let’s check them out!
Pampas grass is one of what is called “the seven autumn herbs” in Japan.
The white tail flower resembles an ear of rice and is offered for good luck.
Dango (rice dumplings)
Round dango to resemble the moon. You can buy readymade ones at supermarket or Japanese sweets shop, or buy dango flour and make them at home. Traditionally you prepare 15 of them and put them in a pyramid shape.
Freshly harvested crops such as sweet potatoes, chestnuts, and edamame (soybeans) are offered to the moon to show appreciation of good harvest.
Wow! This is interesting! To tell you the truth, I’ve never done Tsukimi.
Really? Well, I’ve never done any really proper ones either. Just eating some dango and viewing the moon with my family.
Actually, I took a poll and only about 40% of our readers have done Tsukimi.
Well, we’ll might as well take this opportunity to try doing it this year! It’ll be a good excuse to treat myself to another good dango…
- お月見 Otsukimi, Moon viewing (festival)
- お月見をする do Otsukimi, practice Otsukimi, appreciate the moon, enjoy the beautiful moon など
- 中秋の名月 harvest moon
- だんご rice dumplings
- ススキ pampas grass
- うさぎの餅つき rabbits making mochi (sweet rice cake)
- お月様に団子をお供えする Offer rice dumplings to the moon
- 季節の行事 seasonal event
Eating dumplings while looking at the moon is the best!
- 月見そば soba with egg on top
- 月見バーガー Tsukimi burger, egg burger
- 月が綺麗ですね the moon is beautiful, isn’t it? または I love you