Tsukimi, Japan’s Harvest Moon Festival

Today is O-tsukimi — the Japanese Harvest Moon festival. We celebrate this day by placing some autumnal food and decorations, such as chestnuts, kabocha (pumpkin), susuki (pampas grass) and especially tsukimi dango (moon-viewing dumplings) on the family alter. We dedicate our bounty to Nature, reflecting upon and giving thanks for our good fortune.

Let’s hope for a clear night. Even if you’re busy rushing around and can’t get to a nice quiet, dark place, try to make it a point to look for the full moon as it rises over the horizon.

Read more about O-tsukimi, including an ideal setting in which to celebrate it, in Savory Japan’s Festival section.

5 Replies to “Tsukimi, Japan’s Harvest Moon Festival”

  1. Is Tsukimi today??? Oh, I totally missed it…I thought on 22.09 is the right time to eat bota mochi(or ohagi)…
    Your picture is great, but for me it looks like small daifuku mochi…Or is there katakuriko outside because the dumplings shouldn’t stick to eachother?

  2. Hi Amato,

    Yes, you’re right! I had a hard time keeping the dango from sticking together as I was taking the photo, so I dipped them in rice flour!

    By the way, I like your blog on wagashi! I am new to making wagashi and I always appreciate hints and recipes.

  3. Hi, Risa. Great shot of the tsukimi dango. Linda and I enjoyed moon viewing at the Portland Japanese Garden. The moon was stunning on the 23rd as it skirted striated clouds in its ascent. Light refreshments were provided by Chef Naoko Tamura, with koto music by local musician Mitsuki Dazai and shakuhachi by Hanz Araki. I’m sure you would have enjoyed it all.

  4. Risa, I made it, but my dango didn’t stick to each other at all, I was thinking about using toothpicks… 🙂 They just rolled around, I had a hard time to make the small “pyramid”. I also used genmai-ko(brown rice flour) for one part of my dango, but I don’t recommend it with this kind of recipe(just rice flour+water, then knead and cook). The dumplings were like stones. I think, I used too much rice flour.
    What kind of recipe did you use, the “easy” one, or the other “professional” method( this recipe is already translated on my blog, if you are interested, it is “Mitarashi Dango”)?
    Your dango look so soft and fluffy. Not like stones. 😉

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