Mochitsuki is a traditional Japanese ceremony, celebrating the making of mochi. While the glutinous mochi is eaten year-round, it is particularly significant during the Japanese New Year.
Mochi is a Japanese staple and is used to make everything from confectionery, ice cream, and soup.
According to Wikipedia, traditional mochi-making involves:
1. Soaking the polished glutinous rice over night, then cooking it.
2. The wet rice is pounded with wooden mallets (kine) in a traditional mortar (usu). Two people will alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi. They must keep a steady rhythm or they may accidentally injure one another with the heavy kine.
3. The sticky mass is then formed into various shapes (usually a sphere or cube).
As luck would have it, the good folks over at Jungle City (fostering Japanese & US commerce) are sponsoring a Traditional Mochi Pounding event on January 26th.
If you want in on the action, quick...reserve your spot now. Space is very limited.