Full Moon Night
Full moon night in September (Jugoya), refers to Japanese festivals honoring the autumn moon, is a tradition in which the Japanese like to contemplate the moon.
After the end of summer, when the temperature begins to drop slowly, you will hear the Japanese mentioning the word "Jugoya". Jugoya, also known as "the night of the full moon" or the "night of the 15 day", is the traditional custom of celebrating the autumn harvest.
The tradition dates back to the Heian era, and is now so popular in Japan that some people repeat the activities for several nights after the full moon appeared during the eighth lunisolar month.
Traditions of Jugoya include the display of decorations made from pampas grass and the ingestion of rice balls called dango to celebrate the beauty of the moon.
- When is the night of the full moon?
In the past, the Japanese used the lunar calendar, which is different from the calendar we use today. The ways of counting the months are different and according to the lunar calendar, autumn came in the eighth month of the year. The fifteenth day of the eighth month came in the middle of autumn and people referred to the “evening of 15” as the day to celebrate and enjoy the harvest of the year. With the lunar calendar after the waxing and waning moon, the eighth month of 15 became a full moon. Therefore, on the night of 15, it became a regular custom to observe the moon.
- Why offer Dango rice cakes and pampas grass?
In Japan the danilo rice cakes and pampa grass are offered while watching the full moon, the reason behind this custom comes from the festivals that celebrate the harvests. The pampa grass represents the grains of rice and wishes good crops for the year and the grass of the pampas is also said to ward off evil. The round buns of dango rice represent the full moon and is used as an offering to pray for the good health of the children and their descendants.
- Rabbits on the moon?
In Japan, there are rabbits on the moon. The belief derived from the shapes of craters on the moon that look like rabbits. So many songs about Jugoya usually feature rabbits and many traditional candy shops sell candy in rabbit shape or design.
In addition to the traditional festivities during this season in Japan, there are many sweets and fast food delicacies related to the moon or the Jugoya ceremony for sale, which is usually celebrated from 24 from September until October 8 .