(the night of August 15 and September 13 on the lunar calendar)
|Tsukimi is an annual event to view the moon on the night of August 15 on
the lunar calendar. The date has changed from the middle of August to the
end of September on the solar calendar. We also call this night "The
15th night" or the "Harvest moon", et cetera. Because the
event is held under the lunar calendar, the date changes every year. We
will hold the event on September 11 this year.
The custom of viewing the moon is originally from China. It is said that this Chinese custom was introduced to Japan around the Heian era, and then it had taken root in Japan as a harvest festival. For whatever reason, in Japan we compare the figure of the moon to that of a rabbit. In China they do the same. In China, they used to eat "Geppei (a traditional Chinese sweet)" on this night, but it changed to "Tsukimi dango (a kind of rice dumpling)", when the custom was brought to Japan. In Japan, there are various regions that hold "Tsukimi" on August 15, and on September 13 of the lunar calendar.
However, in China they do not have a custom of holding "Tsukimi" on the night of September 13. This is most likely to become an original Japanese custom.
By the way, strictly speaking, the moon is not always full on the night of the 15th. In the summer, the weather changes but in autumn it is stable and it brings clear air. Therefore, in autumn it is a suitable season for enjoying the beautiful moon. It is considered the reason why "Tsukimi" has been fixed on August 15.
There is an old tale in Japan, "The Tale of the Bamboo-Cutter (Taketori Monogatari)", and it has something to do with "The night of the 15th." There lived an elderly man who cut bamboo for a living. He went into the hills and fields to gather bamboo, and made various tools with it. One day when he went into the woods as usual, he found a unique piece of bamboo. When he cut the bamboo, a beautiful little girl appeared. The elderly man and his wife named her "Kaguyahime", and looked after her well. Kaguyahime grew up to be a beautiful woman and was asked for her hand in marriage by 5 young noblemen. Since she was a princess who had come from the moon, she went back to the moon on the night of the 15th. The author of the tale is unknown. It is said that the tale was written in the Heian era. Ancient people may have read this sort of tale and learned to enjoy Tsukimi.
On "The night of the 15th, we traditionally decorate Japanese autumn pampas ia plant that grows in the autumnj "Susuki", offering sake and dango to the moon, and enjoying the moon in the autumn evening. It is said that if we continue to hang the susuki under the eaves after "Tsukimi", we will not get sick year round. In China, the custom of viewing the moon was originally meant as a harvest festival of taros. Therefore, it is said that this is the reason why there are various regions in Japan that offer taros to the moon. There are many different customs remaining in each area of Japan, but these customs are in the process of disappearing little by little, especially in big cities. In recent years, an ordinary family just buys susuki and Tsukimidango at a shop and offers them to the moon on the night of the 15th.
|be (have) something to do with ...|
|as for one's had in marriage|
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