Are you a moon-watcher?
Today it is matsu-yoi-no-tsuki.
Did you know it?
The day before the full moon is a special day because … we can look forward to seeing the full moon the next day!
In japan (before the advent of TV…) japanese were big fan of enjoying the change of seasons and natural processes. See below:
hana-mi: is the viewing of the cherry blossom (accompanied with cheerful drinking of sake under the flowers)
momiji-mi: (better known as kou-you) is the viewing of the leaves turning red in autumn. The best way to enjoy the kou-you is of course immersed in the warm water of a roten-buro (open air bath) of an onsen (hot springs)
yuki-mi: is the viewing of the snow falling. Especially appreciated thru the low glazed slit of the “yukimi-shoji” (see viewing window screen). And of course in company with a steamy cup of tea.
tsuki-mi : moon watching! Of course viewing the full moon happens roughly 13 times a year, but there are many festivals on the full moon night of july, august, september, october and november.
Of course we know that the moon is beautiful not only when it is full so it is possible to enjoy the tsukimi everyday: as a matter of fact also the katami-tsuki (quarter moon) is very popular.
There would be many more things to say about tsukimi and of course but let me just add one note that will give you a sample of the subtle and poetic esthetic sense of the japanese: the full moon is not celebrated on the day when it is really full (the 14th or 15th day) but the formal “mangetsu” = full moon is celebrated on the 13th night! (juu-san-ya). One day before becoming perfectly round, the shape of the moon on the 13th, imperfectly full, is more appealing to the Japanese aesthetic sense!
To make clear the first statement of this blog, today is the 12th night. Being born on the 12th of december, should I start to celebrate the matsu-yoi-no-tsuki?