By Tomomi Nishimura
The harvest moon in Japan was on Tuesday, 21st September 2021.
It was a sunny day and so the full moon looked very beautiful.
A long time ago, farmers used to measure the passage of time by the phases of the moon.
This helped farmers to carry out jobs on the farm at the appropriate times.
Autumn is the harvest season for crops and it’s the season when the moon looks the most beautiful.
The shape of dumpling symbolizes the round shape of the full moon and shows gratitude for a good harvest and we believed that eating the dumpling after offering will give our health and happiness.
We held the children’s cafeteria on Tuesday afternoon from 5pm to 7pm.
The project is for children who usually eat supper alone. This service is not only for poor families but also to help working mothers. We want to make it a place for everyone.
I get a lot of fresh vegetables donated by farmers in my neighbourhood.
We made harvest meal boxes called “Tsukimi Bento” which included rice balls in the shape of a round moon as well as side dishes.
The use of one-way streets and disinfection helped people to feel more confident when buying Bento boxes because there was less chance of spreading Covid.
Boxes were free for children and adults paid ¥300 ( = £2 ) per box.
Adults bought 20 boxes and children received 20 boxes.
Everybody took their boxes home.
The next day, one of the mothers told me that her toddler son pointed to each side dish and said “Moon! Moon!” and ate it all up. Everybody enjoyed eating handmade Bento.
I was very happy to receive her report.
I enjoyed looking at the full moon and eating the Tsukimi bento too!
The Children’s cafeteria is going to be held once a month from now on.