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Monday, October 10, 2011

Jusanya and Sports Day

Today is Health and Sports Day (体育の日) that was designated in 1966 to commemorate the opening day of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The holiday was originally celebrated on October 10th, but it's held on the second Monday of October after 2000 due to a new law. This year, the second Monday is 10th.
Many schools held their athletic meetings yesterday and today.

We celebrate two moon viewings named Jugoya(十五夜) and Jusanya(十三夜). Jusanya(十三夜) means the night or the moon on the 13th day of the 9th month in the lunar calendar. October 9th was Jusanya this year. This event is unique to Japan. Jugoya(the moon on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar) is full moon, but Jusanya is the moon right before the full moon. Why isn't it a full moon? The exact origin of this event is unclear. In the Edo Period, people valued enjoying to view the moons on both days of Jugoya and Jusanya. Doing only either one of the two was believed to bring bad luck.

I got a glimpse of the moon late yesterday afternoon, but it rained at night.
Jusanya is also called Mame-meigetsu(豆名月, bean harvest moon)or Kuri-meigetsu(栗名月, chestnut harvest moon). I cooked rice with chestnuts yesterday. Removing astringent skins from the Japanese chestnut requires more effort and time than other chestnuts. So I peel raw chesnuts a once or twice a year.

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