National Mochi Day is observed annually on August 8 to honour the spherical, glutinous orbs of delight that are mochi cakes. This traditional Japanese cake’s sticky, powdery texture and sweet flavour have won the hearts of many around the globe. Mochi comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be combined with other delights, such as ice cream, making it a delicious dessert suitable for the conclusion of a delicious meal.
The background of National Mochi Day
Mochi Mochi Wagashi, a Hawaiian mochi business, declared National Mochi Day in 2021 as a day to commemorate all the wonders of mochi. The humble mochi has its roots in ancient history. It is believed that the Japanese began creating their own mochi after they began growing their own rice during the Jomon period (14,000 B.C. to 300 B.C. ), between 14,000 and 300 B.C. During the Kofun period of the sixth century, the widespread availability of earthenware steamers increased the production of domestic mochi.
During the Heian period (794 to 1185), mochi was used and consumed in Shinto ceremonies, such as weddings and births, and became a traditional Japanese New Year’s treat. Different varieties of mochi are consumed as symbols of good fortune in Japan, particularly during the New Year’s holiday, where they are regarded as a cultural icon. One of these is the ‘zoni’ porridge, which consists of mochi and various other vegetables. The ‘kagami mochi’ is also ingested during the ‘kagami biraki’ ceremony.
Mochi, a prevalent cultural symbol in Japan, is available in a wide variety of forms and can be prepared differently depending on the region. Mochi varieties include the round, well-known’marumochi,’ the square ‘kakumochi,’ and the’sakuramochi,’ a pink mochi enveloped in a pickled’sakura’ (cherry blossom) leaf. In Japan, certain varieties of mochi are consumed on special occasions. For instance, ‘kashiwamochi’, a mochi wrapped in a ‘kashiwa’ (oak) leaf, is a traditional treat consumed on Children’s Day, May 5, while’sakuramochi’ is eaten to represent the beginning of spring. Meanwhile, ‘kakumochi’ is a traditional Japanese domestic winter snack that is heated, wrapped in ‘nori’ (seaweed), and eaten with soy sauce.
Present varieties of mochi are typically filled with a variety of pastes, including ‘azuki’ (red bean),’matcha’ (green tea), black sesame, taro, and even vanilla. Other variations include mochi ice cream, in which the soft exterior of the mochi’s skin perfectly complements the cold sweetness of ice cream.
MOCHI DAY NATIONAL ACTIVITIES
National Mochi Day is best observed by, well, eating some mochi! We’re confident that you have a favourite variety of mochi, whether it’s filled with bean paste or ice cream, so grab one and indulge in its deliciousness!
Try various varieties
Yes, your favourite mochi may be the ones filled with azuki, but in the spirit of the holiday, why not sample other flavours you may have never tried before? You can choose a peanut-covered black sesame mochi or a traditional plain mochi to expand your mochi palette!
Make your own glutinous delights.
Why not attempt to create your favourite sweets at home? You can find numerous mochi recipes online that you can use to create your own. However, you want it (literally) in your palms.
5 Interesting Mochi Facts
The method of steaming rice and mashing it into a substance originated in China long before the invention of mochi.
Several Asian nations have their own variations of mochi, including Indonesia’s ‘kue moci’ and Korea’s ‘chapssal-tteok.’
Due to the high number of deaths and hospitalisations that occur annually as a result of consuming mochi, the Japanese government recommends eating it in small pieces.
According to a popular Japanese folktale, the moon’s outline resembles a rabbit preparing mochi.
Mochi balls typically contain between 100 and 180 calories, making them the ideal low-calorie nibble.
NATIONAL MOCHI DAY DATES