Hello my friends! Today I'm writing about a special celebration called Tsukimi, or Moon Viewing. It's a Japanese festival that is usually celebrated in the fall. However, because my Japanese friend Miko celebrates the holiday with her family in the fall, she decided to come over in the summer to teach me about it. I was really excited! It was the perfect chance to use my new telescope for the first time and to try some treats Miko's mom had made.
Besides being a wonderful dancer, Miko is also very interested in space! She helped me get my telescope ready to look at the moon.
Once Miko had the telescope ready, we looked at the moon just as it began to get dark. It was round and full- in fact, it was a blue moon! A blue moon is what happens when there are two full moons in a month. July 2015 was very special to have a blue moon. I was really happy Miko came to celebrate the blue moon with me! Of course neither one of us thought to take a photo of the moon! I had wanted to do that to show that the blue moon isn't actually the color blue. Oops!
Miko is part Japanese and along with her family's special treats, she brought over a Japanese flag! Isn't it pretty?
My Mama wanted us to come inside and have our moon viewing treats, but Miko and I decided (well, I decided and enlisted Miko) to drag a table out to the courtyard and have our treats there. I think it was a good idea, even though the table was pretty heavy.
I got out my special tea set that my friend Zoya Yumiko brought me from Japan. I was supposed to make green tea, but I didn't have any. I made cherry blossom black tea instead, which was still tasty. Yum! Isn't the tea set pretty? Miko loves Hello Kitty so she was really pleased to use my tea set.
And here are the tastiest, cutest treats ever! These are a Japanese treat called usagi manju, or bunny manju. Miko's mom is an excellent treat-maker and these manju were so delicious! They are round like the full moon! Did you know that Japanese traditionally do not see a "man in the moon," but rather bunnies pounding mochi? Cool!
The little bunnies and cherry blossom tea were so tasty. I'm really glad Miko came and taught me more about moon viewing. Doesn't the bunny manju look cute in Miko's hand?
Miko is a really sweet friend to celebrate with me. I was especially grateful as my Mom was away in Europe, so my Mama and I were at home all by ourselves! It was nice to have Miko come by and spend time with me. She is so nice!
Have you every celebrated a holiday or celebration from a culture other than your own? What did you celebrate? Let me know in the comments!