Here comes another unforgettable experience: Harvest Moon Ceremony. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that is the closest the the fall equinox - this year it was September 16th. The Harvest Moon is considered sublime in Asia and there are different ceremonies to recognize it.
Taeka-San hit the ball out of the park again with creating us a special ceremony at our house with the help of her friend Hiroko-San.
The set up is as follows: a small table is set up by a window or a terrace (where one can see the moon) and it is decorated with susuki grass (which resembles rice) and other grass and flowers that are beautiful. Special rice balls called Tsukimi Dango are made for the occasion (see separate blog post on that). Tsukimi means 'moon viewing'.
Then you make matcha and enjoy it with the rice balls and express gratitude for the harvest. We certainly are grateful for all the Uji House harvest: we have enjoyed eggplant, goya, potatoes, cucumber, peppers, shiso, greens and other fresh delicacies from the organic vegetable patch.
And now to the super exciting part: we got to wear kimonos! Lili got to wear Yuka's childhood kimono complete with hair decoration. I got a butterfly kimono with a shimmering grey Obi from Taeko-San's grandmother, and Dante looked very handsome in dark blue.
It is hard to describe how special this moment was for all of us. The clothes were so lovely, and the set up and the room, tea and food where so authentic. We really felt privileged. After all the set up was done, Taeka-San and Hiroko-San put on their kimonos as well, and we were ready!
Even little details were all in support of our experience: there is a Japanese story about the rabbit and the moon, so some of the ricecakes were shaped like rabbits and my teacup had the image from the story!
And my favorite photo: