Is anybody aware of any Harvest Moon Festival events planned this year? It is my understanding that the festival falls on 27.Sept this year
"Tsukimi (月見), or O-tsukimi, which is translated as ‘moon-viewing’, is the Japanese custom of honouring the autumn moon. This celebration usually takes place on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese lunar calendar.
This is known as jugoya (full moon night) or chushu no meigetsu (beautiful mid-autumn moon). The moon isn’t always full on this night, but the autumn air is very clear and the sun, moon and earth are in optimal positions to make the moon appear at its brightest. Thus, autumn is considered the best season to observe the moon. In the modern-day calendar, the date usually falls in September.
Tsukimi is celebrated in a small gathering, in a place where the moon can be seen clearly. Sitting on the engawa (porch) of a traditional home, or in a garden, is ideal. Elegant plumes of susuki (pampas grass) and other autumn plants are displayed as an offering to the moon in thanks for the harvest. Folklore suggests that if you hang susuki under your eaves after the moon-viewing festival, you won’t get sick throughout the year.
Like many Japanese festivals, tsukimi has special foods associated with it. It’s traditional to serve tsukimi–dango and seasonal produce offerings during tsukimi. Tsukimi-dango are moon-shaped, white rice dumplings which are piled in a small pyramid on an altar at tsukimi in order to give thanks for a good harvest. Other seasonal offerings include satoimo (taro potatoes), edamame, and chestnuts, plus sake. These dishes are known as tsukimi-ryori (‘moon-viewing dishes’).
Satoimo, or taro, is a root vegetable associated with moon viewing, because it is harvested in autumn. It was introduced to Japan from China and became a regular part of the Japanese diet. In China, the custom of viewing the moon was originally part of a satoimo harvest festival. Therefore, the tradition of offering satoimo to the moon is known as imomeigetsu (‘potato harvest moon’) in some parts of Japan.
Although not specifically eaten at moon-viewing ceremonies, tsukimi-soba and tsukimi-udon, among other dishes, bear the name because these noodles in broth are topped with an egg which resembles the full moon floating in the night sky.
At some fast food restaurants in Japan, such as McDonald’s. a special menu is offered in the fall featuring fried or poached egg sandwiches known as Tsukimi burgers