Tsuyu New Moon for Lovers, Family, and Friends
The tsuyu is known as Japan's fifth season. This time of heavy rain between the lovely weather of spring and the wicked heat and humidity of summer brings depression to many. But one area, the Nonogawa River Valley, found a way to bring joy during this sunless time.
Towns in the area celebrate by spending the evening of the new moon of tsuyu season together around roaring fires in picnic shelters honoring the year's wedding anniversaries, engagements, and marriages by telling stories of the couples and families. Everyone roasts mochi dango in the flames and brings sauces to share that they pour over the hot, sticky rice balls. People serve mugicha, a roasted barley herbal tea, and water directly from the spring of the Dragon's Bathtub.
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The historic records up to a century ago show there are no floods after the new moon.
Something changed about a century ago, though. There have been a few seasonal floods and mudslides after the new moon. Though, the people of the valley still believe the saying.