Jugoya- the 15th Full Moon

September 19, 2013 Juju Kurihara 0 Comments
by Osakaya

Today, the 19th of September is Chuushuu no Meigetsu (中秋の名月) in Japan. It´s also called Jugoya (十五夜), the night of the 15th… of August. I know we are in September but this is in the lunar calendar.

In Japan people think there are rabbits in the moon while in other country people think it´s a face of a man. During this period, many traditional sweets shops sell sweets with rabbits like this.


Ancient Japanese had a custom to worship of full-moon and believed that a full-moon was a symbol of a rich harvest and the holy spirit inherited in its light. When this custom came from China, it was for noble people to contemplate the full-moon but with time, this event settled as a agricultural ceremony.

by Tomomi Kuramoto


And this is why people use Susuki (Japanese pampas grass) as a decoration for Jugoya. Not only this plant has a charm against bad spirits but also because Susuki has been one of the most familiar plants in agriculture.

Like this photo, people prepare Susuki plants and some flowers. Also some Mochi balls which imitate full-moon. Now you are ready to contemplate Mangetsu (満月/full-moon).




by Megumi Katayama

Japan is already evening. Here is the Chushu no Meigetsu in 2013.

Beautiful full-moon. Can you see the rabbit on the right edge and the left bottom of the moon?


By the way, it´s not always a full-moon on Jugoya because of the moon´s age. But as you can see, tonight we have a beautifully round moon, at least in Japan now.

And next full-moon on the 15th of August on lunar calendar will be in 2021. So enjoy tonight wherever you are!



Photos by Tomomi Kuramoto, Megumi Katayama

More Japanese customs

Chushu no meigetsu

Seijin no hi


Momo no sekku

Shunbun no hi


Contemplate the moon

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