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Updated: Jun 8, 2021

In Japan, June is also called 水無月 ( みなづき, minazuki).

People may think it's strange to call it "the month without water" when it rains a lot.

It is however means the "the month of water".

Two explanations are as below:

Firstly, the "無 (mu)" in minazuki is a coordinating particle of "no". Hence, minazuki means "水の月, the month of water".

Secondly, since the rice planting has been completed and the fields need to be filled with water, minazuki means "the month of water".

There is a confectionery called "minazuki" in Kyoto. It is used for the purification ceremony called 夏越祓 (なごしのはらえ, nagoshi no harae) on the 30th of June wishing for good health for the rest of the year.

It therefore becomes a customary for people in Kyoto to eat "minazuki" on the 30th of June, just the half way of the year.

The Brisbane Japanese Language and Culture School

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