Tsukimi – How can we enjoy Tsukimi?

This October 3rd in 2009 is Ju-goya (Full moon night). It is the day for Tsukimi. Tsukimi means watching the moon. People enjoy watching the moon and the feeling it gives on cool autumn nights.

This custom originally came from China, but has changed a little in Japan. Compared with Chinese Tsukimi, which is a big annual event, Japanese Tsukimi mainly is a day to enjoy watching the moon and just soaking in autumn.

How can we enjoy Tsukimi?

Usually, we put silver glasses, Tsukimi dango (Dumplings), aroids(potatoes type roots), edamame, chestnuts, sake, and so on…in a place from where you can see the moon at home. The reason why you put silver glasses is because they have the power to ward off evil spirits. And the reason for putting those foods in the moonlight is said to be in appreciation of the harvest and is in respect to nature.

During the Heian Period, noble people had a drinking spree and enjoyed writing poems about the moon. And they enjoyed not only watching the moon directly, but also watching it reflected in a pond and in the sake in their cups.

After you finish Tsukimi of Ju-goya on October 3rd, you also may enjoy another Tsukimi on October 30th. It is called Ju-sanya. You will be able to see the second most beautiful moon of the month on that night. It is good for luck with money and succees to pray for the moon on Ju-sanya.

So, if you have a deep appreciation for autumn or a drinking spree of your own and come up with some lyrical poems or not so lyrical poems…we would love to have you post them here in the comments section.