Otsukimi: Moon Gazing Festival ==> Fall of 2007

Otsukimi is the custom to appreciate the full moon called chushu no megetsu. Introduced from China, the custom spread through Japan in the Heian period(794-1192). Dango, a kind of dumplings, together with crops from fields, were offered to the moon. Japanese pampas grass are decorated, while people sit and appreciate the beauty of the moon. In some regions people are allowed to steal the offerings.

I was pleasured by the presence of two great friends one being a co-worker of mine at NAC, to invite me to a Moon Festival that was taking place in Mito City. The day was fun and as viewed in the video's was a great experience to learn about.

A traditional Japanase Tea ceremony. With an authentic green tea that was whipped up (literally) in the teapot shown below. We were to sit as pictured in video with a certain posture during the whole cermony.

This woman is chinese.............enjoying the celebration by wearing a traditional garment.

She is real Japanese, performing the actual ceremony.

The tea is pure and does not contain anything additional, (which means it was very bitter and strong) so some sweet snacks are served only to be eaten immediately preceeding the actual serving of tea. I wasnt able to capture the actual cermony for it went for a while and would be rude to do so.

I tell ya my legs were hurting after sitting in that position for about an hour.....

Time for some sports..........

There were a lot of old fashioned Japanese games that were on demonstration at the festival. This one is just one of the many very tricky, it had taken me a while but I did it!!!!

Sorry the video was taken side ways, but it shows just the first of several styles to the game.

In fact once I got it, the instructor challenged me to other tricks he had up his sleeve. I suceeded and the instructor was so amazed how quickly I learned all of them that I recieved a certificate of completion and was very eager to have his picture taken with me. So I made him a deal....... he can have a picture of me on his cellular and I get to have one on my camera...... he agreed!!!!!!

There was also signing of the symbol which indicates this festival .

What a day it was!!!! After the festival we adjourned to a cofee shop in downtown Mito City. Just to relax and talk about how great the festival was.

Thanks for visiting my site, there is so much more in 2007 that was done, that I am trying to push out on this web blog quickly , before I get too deep into the new year of 2008.


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