Today September 8, 2014 the Japanese are celebrating the Tsukimi holiday, also known as Otsukimi. If you directly translate it to English it literally means “Moon Viewing”. The holiday is celebrated to mark Mid-Autumn and is also known in the Western worlds as the Japanese Mid-Autumn Festival.
These days normally fall in September and October of the modern solar calendar. The tradition dates to the Heian era, and is now so popular in Japan that some people celebrate several evenings following the appearance of the full moon during the eighth lunisolar month.
Tsukimi traditions include displaying decorations made from Japanese pampas grass (susuki) and eating rice dumplings called Tsukimi dango in order to celebrate the beauty of the moon. Seasonal produce are also displayed as offerings to the moon. Sweet potatoes are offered to the full moon, while beans or chestnuts are offered to the waxing moon the following month. The alternate names of the celebrations, Imomeigetsu (literally “potato harvest moon”) and Mamemeigetsu (“bean harvest moon”) or Kurimeigetsu (“chestnut harvest moon”) are derived from these offerings.
To all our Japanese Readers we would like to wish you all a blessed Tsukimi festival.