I had a walk in Nara Park yesterday, one day before the night of the full moon. It was getting dark, but the lamp was not lit yet. The eastern sky was still bright.
The shadow got longer and longer while I was walking toward the Nigatsu-do Hall of the Todai-ji Temple.
Pomegranate trees are abundant with fruits beside the Hall.
Someone is praying anywhere constantly.
I was worried about the dark rain clouds in the western sky.
On the earth, it was nice and bright under the rays before sunset. Deer look grazing all day long, but their heavy feeding time is before sunset by nature.
The molten sky under the dark clouds took my breath away.
When darkness finally fell, I noticed a clear and bright moon, not the finfteenth-night-moon (満月/望月) but the fourteenth-night-moon (小望月), on the eastern sky. It followed me wherever I went. Do you see a rabbit, which is said in Japan to be living in the moon, pounding rice to make dumplings?
At night, Nara Park is pitch dark in some places where car headlights and illumination spotlights don’t reach. It's so dark that some people think there might be 魑魅魍魎 (evil spirits of mountains and rivers) lurking due to so many battles in the ancient and medieval age. In such a darkness, it’s too difficult for this immature photographer to take pictures of the moon. Anyhow, I managed with the help of modest illumination.
At Sarusawa-ike Pond, the stage of Uneme Festival on the harvest moon night, people were sparse and were enjoying the stillness and the cool night breeze.
Two dragon-head boats were calmly waiting for their time to go on stage the next night lurking in the darkness. I could barely see them with my eyes wide open. (I made the image brighter on the computer to let you see the boats.)
While I was viewing the moon through the illuminated threads of weeping willow, the warmth and serenity of the moon infused itself into my heart.
In Japan, the full moon nearest to Autumnal Equinox is called 中秋の名月, equivalent to harvest moon. Moon viewing ceremony is held at many temples, while at home people enjoy it as a seasonal event. Tonight, I arranged "hagi" (Japanese bush clover) in a vase and offered it to the full moon together with rice-dumpling. A perfect full moon for me is the one slightly hidden by thin clouds, a hazy moon.
Cheers to your full moon worldwide!
harvest moon tonight
My dear friend Sarah reports Uneme Festival on the full moon night in her blog, here.
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