Moon Viewing Day

001Today is “Otsukimi’, moon viewing day in Japan. This is one of beauty nature related cultures in Japan.

We used to use the Lunisolar Calendar system, so on the 15th day of the eight month of Japanese traditional calendar, the full moon is celebrated.

We now use a solar calendar in the same way as in the UK, so we have had this celebration in September.

Traditionally, we used to decorate with “Susuki grass” which is poaceae grass family and Tsukimi food. These days, not many people would actually celebrate with those items at home. However, even nowadays, they remind us of otsukimi day on the weather forecast in TV.

People who are on the way back home, are working during the night time or are at home would see a very bright full moon in nice clear autumn weather in Japan. (Apparently it is nice weather in Japan tonight!)

Last night, I could see clear moon in Harrogate. Unfortunately we have typical autumn weather this morning – grey skies and rain. So it will be difficult to see the full moon here tonight……

I don’t think I will create otsukimi food today (I don’t have any ingredients to make it), but I would like to introduce you (and maybe my children later) to this Japanese culture.

Have you ever thought there is a rabbit making rice dumpling ” mochi’ in the moon?!

A long long time ago, Japanese people would see a rabbit in the full moon. There is even a song about this moon viewing day which mentions a rabbit, too.

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The moon and rabbit relationship is very strong in Japan.  So, if you ask your Japanese friend, ‘what animal  do you see in the moon?’, they will probably  answer “Usagi”. Rabbit!

I heard other countries see different animals in the moon too. I can’t remember which countries, but they see crab and lion in the moon!

by Nai

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