Frisco to host Otsukimi Festival 

After a pandemic filled with postponements and suspensions of events and festivals, one of the awaited Japanese Celebration will be making a comeback in Frisco according to a Plano Magazine article from October 18 which says, 

“The largest one-day Japanese cultural celebration in North Texas is returning to Frisco Nov. 20.  On Monday, The Japan-America Society of Dallas Fort Worth and the Crow Museum of Asian Art at the University of Texas at Dallas jointly announced the return of the Otsukimi Moon Viewing Festival. It will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 20 at Simpson Plaza at Frisco Square

Pronounced “Oat-Sue-Kee-Mee,” the family-friendly festival celebrates the autumn or “harvest” moon.  This will be the festival’s twenty-second year in North Texas.  It will feature live music, food, art-making and other cultural offerings. Among the craft activities scheduled are origami, a moon rabbit ears creation activity, and Japanese calligraphy. Vendors will be selling Japanese festival food and beverages as well as collectibles. There will also be a traditional tea ceremony demonstration and haiku readings.”

However, the awaited festival will be celebrated in Frisco instead of Klyde Warren park according to a Dallas Morning News article from November 9 which observes, 

“The annual festival, which used to be at Klyde Warren Park, moved to Frisco in 2019 to accommodate more participant parking and better sky visibility.

“The moon is a big component of this event,” Pass said. “We had a challenge in the past where the buildings in downtown and uptown Dallas would hide the moon until maybe the last half-hour of the program. So we wanted to move somewhere we could be a little further out and we could see the moon better.”

The move from downtown Dallas to Frisco two years ago also shifted attendees from mostly young professionals to families and Asian communities.

“I was very impressed with the true diversity of the event,” Pass said. “We have people from all different backgrounds. It reflects the demographics of the suburbs.”

Historically, the festival was primarily focused on the position of the earth, sun and moon where poetry recitals were performed. As such, organizers will also be offering the free use of telescopes in the festival grounds. 

Attendees at the festival can participate in skygazing and moon-viewing activities through telescopes available on the grounds.

The moon viewing custom is believed to have originated during the Heian period (794 to 1185 AD) with Japanese aristocrats, who gathered to recite poetry when the relative positions of the earth, sun and moon caused the moon to appear especially bright, according to an event statement.