On a cool autumn night, look up to the sky and appreciate the beautiful moon.
Autumn is the best season to enjoy the moon at night because the autumn rain clears the air.
There is a custom in Japan called “Otsukimi,” in which we must appreciate and pray for a good harvest in September and October. “Otsukimi” is usually held in “Jugoya” (August 15th of lunar calendar) and “Jusanya” (September 13th of lunar calendar). “Jugoya” is also called “Tyushuno-Meigetsu”. Some other countries also have a similar custom, but praying to the moon not only in “Jugoya,” but also in “Jusanya” is customary to Japan. It is said that, praying to the moon only on one night would not be successful.
We offer the moon a taro, or sweet potato for a good harvest of potatoes in “Jugoya” and a chestnut and green soybeans for a good harvest of chestnuts soybeans in “Jusanya”. We also offer a rice-flour dumpling, which looks like a full moon, and the Japanese pampas grass as good-luck charms.
We usually eat a rice-flour dumpling we offer after “Otsukimi” because it is said that we can obtain good health and happiness from it.
“Otsukimi” is a gratitude for a good harvest. In modern days though, few people put up an offering to the moon on both days.
In the autumn, we are set free from the hot weather of summer and can enjoy the cool air. Let’s go out for some fresh air and look up the beautiful moon in the sky this autumn. You will enjoy the best season of the year with “Otsukimi.”
The date of “Jugoya” and “Jusanya” for 3 years from 2016
“Jugoya” / “Jusanya”
September 15th / October 13th 2016
October 4th/ November 1st 2017
September 24th/October 21st 2018