September 20, 2013

full moon  2

Harvest Moon rising in the eastern sky at dusk

Yesterday, September 19th, was the day of “中秋の名月 (Chushu-no-Meigetsu).”

”中 (chu)” means “center,”  “秋 (shu)” means “autumn,”  and “月 (tsuki)” means “moon.”

Literally, “中秋” means the center of autumn and it represents August 15th in the old Japanese calendar (an adjusted lunar calendar based on the Chinese calendar).

“名月 (meigetsu)” represents the moon on the day of “中秋,” and it often is a full moon.

Yesterday’s moon was a round full moon shining brightly. I hear we’ll have to wait for the next eight years till we can see a full moon like yesterday’s one on the day of  “中秋.”

 

 

 

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Rising Sun and Setting Moon in the eastern sky : Photo by Toku

 

 

Photo:Tsukimimoon-viewing-party by Katorisi

Tsukimimoon-viewing-party : Photo by Katorisi

 

 

It is the harvest season now, so “中秋の名月” is also called a harvest moon.

Traditionally, we celebrate this day by offering rice dumplings called “月見団子(tsukimi-dango : moon-viewing dumplings)” and harvested products like satoimo (Japanese taro root) and chestnuts to the moon and by observing and appreciating the beauty of the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo:Rabbit in the moon standing by pot by Zeimusu

Rabbit in the moon standing by pot : Photo by Zeimusu

 

In Japan, there is a popular folklore which says that there are rabbits on the moon. We Japanese often look up at the moon and say, “Look, rabbits are pounding mochi (rice cake) on the moon.”

It is said this folklore has its origin in one of the tales of Konjaku Monogatari (Anthology of Tales from the Past), which is a collection of over 1,000 tales written in the Heian period (794~1185).

It featured a rabbit which jumped into a fire and tried to sacrifice itself to offer its own body as food to a poor starving old man (actually one of the Buddhist gods), and was later sent up to the moon by the Buddhist god who was moved by the rabbit’s sacrifice and hoped to make people aware of its honorable deed.

 

 

 

 

harvest display seven autumn flowersAround this season, in order to celebrate the year’s harvest, displays are set up and events are held throughout Japan.

This picture is a display set up in the nearby park.

Freshly-harvested vegetables and fruites including pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and Japanese persimmons are placed in the baskets, and around them, seven autumn flowers are blooming. Tall Japanese silver grass (Susuki) is shaking in the wind.

 

 

Rich harvest and comfortable fine autumn weather—it’s the season when people  thank for the blessings of nature and feel the joy of living.

 

 

 

Seven autumn flowers

Photo: Hagi by Miya.m

Hagi : Photo by Miya.m

Photo: Kuzu by BotMultichill

Kuzu : Photo by BotMultichill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Susuki(Obana) by 663highland

Susuki(Obana) : Photo by 663highland

Photo: Ominaeshi by KENPEI

Ominaeshi : Photo by KENPEI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Nadeshiko by Alpsdake

Nadeshiko : Photo by Alpsdake

Photo: Fujibakama by Koba-chan

Fujibakama : Photo by Koba-chan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Kikyo by Miya

Kikyo : Photo by Miya