Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chinese Mid-Autumn Day Highlights

Chinese Mid-Autumn Day holiday is coming this weekend. It's a holiday associated with long history and traditiaonal chinese cultures.

According to wikipedia, The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節, zhōng qiū jié), also known as the Moon Festival, is a popular Chinese celebration of abundance and togetherness, dating back over 3,000 years to Zhou Dynasty. Several cultures activities related to this holiday would be:

Eating moon cakes outside under the moon
Putting pomelo rinds on one's head
Carrying brightly lit lanterns
Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e
Planting Mid-Autumn trees
Collecting dandelion leaves and distributing them evenly among family members
Lighting lanterns on towers
Fire Dragon Dances

Food offerings -- including moon cakes, apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, watermelons, oranges, and so on -- are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard. of all these foods, moon cakes and watermelons (cut into the shape of a lotus) are indispensable for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Bathing in the silver moonlight, the families will sit together and take turns to worship the moon, chatting and sharing the moon offerings. It's a time for family reunion in China.

Chinese famous Poems that express a feeling of missing home and family members.

The Yo-Mei Mountain Moonby Li Bai
  • The autumn moon is half round above the Yo-mei Mountain;
  • The pale light falls in and flows with the water of the Ping-chiang River.
  • Tonight I leave Ching-chi of limpid stream for the three Canyons.
  • And glide down past Yu-chow, thinking of you whom I can not see.


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Anonymous said...

I will tell u an old story about mid autumn day, actually ,it is regarded as the origin of the day. The date of this story is around 2170 B.C. The earth once had ten suns circling over it, each took its turn to illuminate to the earth. But one day all ten suns appeared together, scorching the earth with their heat. The earth was saved by a strong and tyrannical archer Hou Yi. He succeeded in shooting down nine of the suns. One day, Hou Yi stole the elixir of life from a goddess. However his beautiful wife Chang Er drank the elixir of life in order to save the people from her husband's tyrannical rule. After drinking it, she found herself floating and flew to the moon. Hou Yi loved his divinely beautiful wife so much, he didn't shoot down the moon.Hope it will help you understand Chinese culture