Otsukimi (Moon viewing)

Japanese people have a custom of moon viewing on the night when the moon is most beautiful and brightest in the year. The moon on August 15 in the lunar calendar is called the harvest moon. In today’s calendar, the day changes depending on the year, but it falls on a day somewhere between mid-September and early October.

This moon-viewing custom originated in the Tang Dynasty and was introduced to Japan in the Heian period. People appreciate and honor the moon by displaying pampas grass and making an offering of rice dumplings to the harvest moon.