O Tsukimi 2012

A few months ago I wrote about the Tsukimi Moon Viewing Festival, an ancient custom in Japan where families would traditionally sit next to an open window to view the full moon on a mid-autumn night when the moon is said to be looking its most resplendent.

Noticing that the moon tonight seems bigger and brighter than normal I wondered whether today is the Tsukimi festival (it depends on the lunar calendar and the date varies every year). Let me search on the internet, I thought.

Please excuse poor photography.

I am a big fan of Google search but on this occasion it excluded the most reliable sources of information, i.e. all websites in Japanese. I had to make do with the US websites that came up in the search results and they were not unanimous in their opinions:

  • Denver Botanic Garden and Seattle Japanese Garden are holding their Tsukimi events tonight, 1st September.
  • Portland Japanese Garden is planning its event for the next full moon, 28th-30th September. So is the Imiloa Astronomy Centre and Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.
  • Philadelphia’s Shifuso Japanese House and Garden is holding its tsukimi festivities on 29th September between 11am and 5pm when it is not even dark!

Since Japanese are usually so thorough, accurate and punctual in these matters I find these discrepancies surprising.

Does anyone know when is the real o-tsukimi this year?

Full moon in Putrajaya.