Japan House Tsukimi Celebration
Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 7-9 pm
Virtual & Japan House Gardens
Tsukimi (月見) or O-tsukimi (お月見) is a holiday that celebrates the beauty of the Harvest Moon. Dating back over a thousand years to Chinese Mid-Autumn Festivals, this special night has become a uniquely Japanese custom of holding moon-viewing parties featuring special food and unique decorations. Each year at Japan House, we offer a special opportunity for guests to view a tea ceremony and celebrate the full moon together in the beauty of the Japan House gardens. This year we are encouraging everyone to watch from home and enjoy Tsukimi with your family!
At 7pm, after an online presentation highlighting the history and traditions of Tsukimi, Professor Emeritus Kimiko Gunji will perform a special tea ceremony in the Japan House Gardens to honor the Harvest Moon for all to watch. The tea ceremony will be immediately followed by a video highlighting our Karesansui, or Dry Garden, that we have raked in a special pattern for the United Nations International Day of Peace. Through a collaborative effort with 13 other gardens around the country, we are proud to pair with NAGJA’s (North American Japanese Garden Association) inaugural year of Gardens for Peace (G4P). Gardens for Peace is a new project that brings communities together in Japanese Gardens to promote peace. After the YouTube presentation, we will be offering a FACEBOOK LIVE view for you to enjoy as the moon rises over the horizon until 9pm. We will be joined by Dr. John C. Martin, Associate Professor of Astronomy-Physics at University of Illinois Springfield. Dr. Martin regularly hosts Star Parties for the UIS Campus Observatory and will be available for commentary and questions during the LIVE event.
Weather permitting, members of the Astronomical Society at the University of Illinois (UIAS) will be set up with telescopes near Japan House for the local community to stop by and take a closer look at the moon. As this will be taking place after dark (the Arboretum officially closes at sunset), please note that all guests must be out no later than 11pm. Guests are encouraged to maintain safe practices such as social distancing and wearing masks, regardless of vaccination status.