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Today is Muchi Day
post : 2014.02.13 15:00
Purple muchi (mochi, glutinous rice cake) wrapped in San'nin (getto, shell ginger) leaves.
In Okinawa, on the 8th day of the 12th lunisolar month, if one eats this muchi it will ward off evil.
Muchi is one of Okinawa's oft eaten snacks, after the mochi seasoned with brown sugar, white sugar, purple yam and so on, it is wrapped in getto leaves and steamed.
It is wrapped in leaves so it is called "Kaasa (leaf) Muchi."
The characteristic scent of the getto and the faint sweetness of the mochi give it a very simple taste.
Getto leaves are sold in stores, but those that are harvested from gardens and the like can be used if washed well.
There are a lot of goings-on based on the lunisolar calendar, and even now there are customs based on the lunisolar calendar.
There is a term "muchibisa" (mochi cold) based on the 8th day of the 12th month of the lunisolar calendar, when the days really start to get cold.
Today in various places you can hear conversation like this "It's mochi cold. It is going to be cold."
The custom of making this muchi to ward off evil is from an Okinawa Island folk tale.
Once upon a time, a brother and sister lived in Shuri, the brother settled in the caves of Oozatoson, and when night came he became an ogre that chased and ate livestock.
To exorcize the evil in her older brother, she put an iron needle in some mochi and wrapped it in a getto leaf and fed it to her brother and he was exorcized.
That was the 8th day of the 12th month of the lunisolar calendar.
So that day became a day to pray for your family's health, and the custom of eating muchi came from that.
In my childhood, I have memories of making muchi in kindergarten and taking getto leaves from the garden and having fun making muchi♪
During those years, in households with children, to pray for their health, there is a custom of making and eating muchi that is bigger than normal muchi called "chikara (power) muchi."
If you knead sticky rice flour (the purple is from purple yam), wrap it in a getto leaf and steam it, it is done.
A ward off evil day to eat mochi that chases off ogres and brings good luck, while praying for your family's health. There are plenty of good old customs left in Okinawa. I would like these customs to continue.
Okinawa CLIP Photowriter Reina Chinen(0173)