Thursday, November 03, 2005
Tsukimi is the name given to the traditional moon-viewing night. It is usually held in mid-autumn, around September, but some people are still doing it now, as the moon is almost full and can be seen clearly.
It is somewhat similar to our Thanksgiving as it is a celebration of the beauty of autumn but also a time to pray for a plentiful harvest of rice. Offerings of food are usually given to the moon. This is usually Tsukimi dango (a kind of dumpling), susuki (a Japanese pampas grass seasonal fruits, and sake.
The tradition of moon viewing came from China. An really good in-depth look is offered here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsukimi
The Chinese mainly believe in the Lady of the moon, while we believe in the Man on the Moon. In ancient times the Japanese believed that rabbits lived on the moon and that they made mochi (a rice cake) with a wooden pestle.
This is one of those things that I would like to do with my daughter when she is older. As far as I know we don’t have this type of moon viewing tradition back home. I have been reading Mina (http://littlepleasure.blogspot.com/) and her great fun with her telescope and I want to have one now. I would love to play with JiXiang like this. It is a wonderful way to enjoy science, rather than fall asleep reading it in a book.
I have been keeping a mental record of different Japanese customs that I would like to continue on our return to Canada, and I am hoping that Li instills a few of his favourite Chinese customs into our life once Ji is old enough to take part in them.
Between our Canadian customs, Chinese customs and Japanese customs every month will be special in some way.
I always tell people that the things that we think are weird or bad luck in our culture are probably good luck in another.
For example: a pigeon shitting on your head.
I figure that we might as well expose our family to everything that brings good luck and happiness to create the best results.