What is the meaning of Japanese Moon Festival (OTSUKIMI)? When is it in 2017?

      2017/09/04

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Have you heard of Otsukimi? It's a celebration in Japan and also called Japanese 
Moon Festival. This post shows you what it is, when it is, and how Japanese 
celebrate it.

 


Here is a list of gifts that you can give to the elderly for Keiro no Hi → Gift Ideas for Japanese Respect for the Aged Day

This post shows how to get Ghibli Museum tickets online in Japanese → How to Get Ghibli Museum Tickets Step by Step

 

 

 

What is Japanese Moon Festival?

Japanese celebrate Japanese Moon Festival or OTSUKIMI(お月見)/ TSUKIMI(月見) in autumn. Otsukimi literally means viewing or gazing the moon.

 

Why do they do that?

 

They appreciate the harvest has been successful so that they have food to eat.

 

There are typhoons and rainy season during summer in Japan. After these, the sky will be clear and people can see a beautiful full moon.

 

 

When is Japanese Moon Festival?

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Dango eaten for Japanese Moon Festival 

 

 

The date is based on a lunar calendar, so every year it is different.

This year it is October 4th (Wed), 2017.

 

Japanese people usually eat Dango (団子) or dumplings.

It is usually round and some people make by themselves.

The round shape is associated with full moon. Depends on the area, some people make different shapes.

 

Another item for Otukimi is Japanese Susuki grass, which looks like Asian rice grass. Japanese have been eating rice for ages so they appreciate that they have food.

Also Japanese Susuki grass is said that it would protect people from evil spirits.

 

Summary

For me, Otsukimi is similar to Thanksgiving in Canada or USA.

The core concept is to appreciation of food.

 

I personally didn’t celebrate Otsukimi when I was in Japan.

You will see more people enjoying Otsukimi in rural area because it is part of their tradition.

 

If you are in Japan on October 4th this year, try to find people who celebrate Otsukimi and enjoy the food and moon with them!

 

 

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Here is a list of gifts that you can give to the elderly for Keiro no Hi → Gift Ideas for Japanese Respect for the Aged Day

This post shows how to get Ghibli Museum tickets online in Japanese → How to Get Ghibli Museum Tickets Step by Step

 

 

 

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