As August is finally coming to an end, I will introduce Ohtsukimi, one of cultural events in Japan happening in September. During Ohtsukimi days, people offer what’s called Tsukimi Dango, Japanese dumplings, while appreciating the beauty of the moon. This year, Ohtsukimi happens on September 21(and this day is specifically called Jugoya).
Jugoya is an event where people appreciate mid-autumn moon known as the most beautiful moon throughout the year while thanking harvests of the year. This event actually originated in China and have been adopted by nobles in Japan’s Heian period. Then it became popular among the public afterwards.
For the Ohtsukimi, why do people offer Japanese pampas grass and Tsukimi Dango?
Originally, it is supposed to be ears of rice which represent the fruitfulness of their harvest, however, since it is before reaping rice, it is said that they started to use Japanese pampas grass, which look similar to ears of rice.
They arrange those Japanese pampas grass in a vase, sometimes with autumn flowers. Moreover, there is a custom where people hang the pampas grass under their eaves after the event because their sharp cut end is said to be a talisman.
It is indispensable to prepare mochi and dumplings for Japanese cultural events since rice is staple food and is a part of their lives. During Ohtsukimi, people appreciate the harvest of the year and pray for the next good crops by offering Tsukimi Dango.
With the pandemic still going on, it is still hard for us to go out freely. That’s why you should enjoy this Otsukimi event while staying at home!