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tsukimi

Tsukimi: Japanese Harvest Moon Festival

Tsukimi

Did you celebrate the harvest moon this week? Here in Osaka, it was too cloudy to fully appreciate the full moon. However, tsukimi (moon viewing) is a holiday and, despite the cloudy weather, many people around Japan, and throughout Asia, celebrated.

What is Tsukimi?

Tsukimi literally means moon viewing. The holiday is akin to a Japanese version of Mid-autumn Festival, a similar celebration which takes place in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and South Korea. In some of these countries, lanterns are displayed and moon cakes are eaten. The holidays gives thanks for the autumn harvest.

#happy #harvestmoonfestival #tsukimi #midautumnfestival #japanese

A photo posted by Hip Urban Green (@innoriker) on

The first Tsukimi took place during the Heian Era (794- 1185). Today, decorations made from Japanese pampas grass are displayed and special dango is eaten. During this time, many people put out food such as sweet potatoes and chestnuts as offerings to the waxing moon.

Moon Viewing Party

In the past parties were held to celebrate the full moon. Aristocrats would recite poetry and enjoy special food. The Japanese have always claimed this to be the best time of year to see the moon. Some say the positioning of the sun, moon, and earth align in such a way that the moon appears brighter than usual. Japanese people pray for an abundant harvest and enjoy the beauty of the moon.

Tsukimi Dishes

In Japan, Tsukimi means serving traditional foods such edamame, chestnuts, taro, and rice dumplings. These foods are offerings to the moon in order to ask for a bountiful harvest.

Themed sweets can be found in specialty shops, grocery stores, and convenient marts throughout the country.

・ お月様、綺麗✨?✨ 良い十五夜ですね〜? ・ 白玉粉がちょっとしかなくて、かぼちゃ団子の分が精一杯? 仕方なく、米粉で白い団子作ったら…?チーン。。 白玉粉って、なんて優秀なんだっ✨? 白玉粉を見直しました✨ ・ 右上の素敵なお菓子は妹から貰ったもの?? 銀座 菊廼舎さんの冨貴寄? 吹きよせがこんなに小さくなって、30種類も入ってます✨ か、可愛い〜ぃ? んでもって、美味し〜ぃ? お江戸の老舗、すごいでんなぁ✨✨✨ ・ 2016.9.15. ・ #十五夜 #年中行事 #歳時記 #満月 #中秋の名月 #芋の名月 #お月見 #月見 #お月見団子 #月見団子 #団子 #うさぎ #銀座菊廼舎 #冨貴寄 #老舗 #江戸 #干菓子 #吹きよせ #日本 #日々 #丁寧な暮らし #漆器 #Japan #nippon #Japaneseculture #loves_nippon #igersjp #wp_delicious_jp #japanesefood #washoku

A photo posted by fu (@fu0821) on

While many Westerners claim to see a man on the moon, the Japanese see a rabbit. More specifically, they see a rabbit making rice cakes.

#Repost @mimosa_fleur さんより ・・・ こんばんわ? 今日は十五夜? 娘と一緒にお団子を作りました? うさぎさん?も作ったよ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆ トッピングはみたらし、芋餡、あんこ、きなこ、クリームの5種類? 色々組み合わせて楽しく♬いただきました♪───O(≧∇≦)O────♪ 団子がツルツル滑って積み重ならなかった〜? ススキは?の近くから取ってきたよ? 明後日は運動会?早起きしてお弁当作り出来るかな?寝坊しないか心配? #十五夜#お月見#おつきみ? #月見#月見団子#月#満月#うさぎ#?#?#お団子#団子#秋#お家カフェ#スイーツ#おうちカフェ#sweets#和菓子#緑茶#茎茶#クッキングラム#コッタ#ロカリ#ロカリクッキング

A photo posted by クッキングラマー・プロジェクト (@cookingram.jp) on

For this reason, rabbit themed mochi is a favorite in Japan during this holiday. The rabbit and moon theme can be found in many different folklore in Japanese literature.

Victoria Garafola

Victoria is an American writer living in Osaka, Japan. She enjoys traveling to new countries and experiencing foreign culture.

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