All About Japan

Savor the Harvest Moon


O-tsukimi refers to the Japanese custom of viewing the harvest moon on August 15 of the old lunar calendar, which is the day the beauty of the moon is considered to be the greatest. For 2016, that date corresponds to September 15.

O-tsukimi is also based on the notion of giving thanks to the gods for the harvest, and traditionally people make offerings of crops, pampas grass, rice dumplings, sake and other items at this time. When gazing at the moon, Japanese people believe they can see the form of a rabbit pounding mochi (glutinous rice) on its surface. If you look carefully enough, you may see it as well!