Everywhere in the world, when you see the moon, I seem people wants to name it.
But for Japanese people, the moon makes us hungry.
Today I talk about moon and foods in Japan.
What’s on the moon in your country?
I have heard there is a girl holding a thread in Germany, A man carrying woods in France, There are crab or donkey around Europe, Russian seems Cain and Abel, There is a woman weaving a loom in Indonesia, and in Arab They seem a lion…cool!
But in Japan, we seem rabbits pounding mochi, rice cake with a pestle and mortar.
We are always thinking about cooking or eating foods…
“Tsukimi” means moon viewing.
China and Japan have had the custom of appreciating the moon since ancient times.
After the festival of moon viewing was introduced from China, Nobles had “Kangetsu” party in which they would compose poems and enjoy drinking.
Especially Japanese decided to watch and worship the moon on the 15th in August and the 13th night in September of the lunar calendar.( 13th does not have meaning a bad omen in Japan)
This custom is just like a Thanksgiving in the West.
In Japan, we devote dango dumplings (Shape is difference from region. Usually ball shape), beans, and chestnuts to moon.
After the offering, it is believed eating dango will provide health and happiness.
We also decorate with silver grass and flowers. The silver grass is offered as a way of inviting gods into the tradition.
No matter how we look at nice view, Japanese tends to associate them with foods.
We seem egg yolk looks like a full moon. Therefore, Japanese call the food with the yolk of an egg on it “Tsukimi”.
We have a unique teriyaki hamburger putting a fried egg between it, which is called “Tsukimi Teriyaki Burger”
You can eat this menu at McDonald’s in Japan. This is sold from September to October every year😍
There is a custom of “Tsukimi-Sake” that drinking Sake on 13th September night.
“Monaka” means the central month of autumn. This is bean-jam-filled wafers sandwich cakes which is the image of full moon.
But now the meaning of monaka has become wafers.
So, there are square-shaped monaka, iced monaka and so on.
This is ice monaka. There is not bean-jam but chocolate and vanilla ice inside! Very tasty and popular for long time😊
In Western countries, moon is “lunatic” that means it drives people crazy.
But in Japan, moon means beautiful (& tasty).
I know in Arabic, when they admire women, Arabian say “You are beautiful like moon”. This meaning is as same as Japan!
How about sipping Tsukimi-sake while watching the moon on the 13th night of the lunar calendar?