Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tsukimi 月見

Today is the Tsukimi matsuri (literally moon viewing festival), a Japanese tradition originated from China, which is an annual festival honoring the autumn moon. Traditionally, tsukimi dango (Japanese dumplings) and Japanese sake are placed on a tray and susuki (pampas grass) are arranged in a vase in order to celebrate the beauty of the moon. People view the mid-autumn moon quietly at home, gardens, shrines, and temples. Also, it's widely believed that the shadows on the moon surface look like a rabbit pounding mochi rice cake on a usu mortar, which is why some Tsukimi dango (like these) are shaped like rabbits. More recently some fast food restaurants in Japan, such as McDonalds, offer a special fall menu featuring fried egg (yolk looks like a full moon) sandwiches known as Tsukimi burgers.

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