Introduction to Mid-Autumn Festival or Mooncake Festival
Festival, also known as the Lantern or Mooncake festival,
falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese calendar
or roughly 25th September on the Western
calendar. This is one of the more important festival for
the Chinese around the world.
the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese all over the world
celebrate by sitting down with friends and relatives to sip Chinese
tea, eat moon-cakes, recite poems, listen to classical Chinese
admire the full moon. (Check it out! It will be a full moon
September this year). Chinese children will
light and carry paper lanterns and play with sparklers and fireworks.
How did this festival
there are two popular theories on how did Mid-Autumn festival came
down Ten Suns
is said that there was once when ten suns appeared at once in
the sky. This caused tremendous suffering as the land was parched,
crops failed and people were dying of thirst and hunger. The
then Chinese Emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the
nine extra suns being
careful to leave the last sun behind.
archer easily completed the task with his bow and arrow and the
Goddess of Western Heaven rewarded the archer with a pill
him immortal. However, his wife found the pill, took it,
and was banished to the moon as a result. Legend says that
greatest on the day of the Moon festival and it is not
uncommon for people to claim that they see her image during the
full moon period of the month of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
then on, people would light lanterns on Mid-Autumn festival
to remember the time when the earth was shone upon by 10 suns.
So, on Mid-Autumn
look carefully and see if you can make out the silhouette
of a Chinese lady
dancing in the moon!
the Mongol invaders
popular legend has it that the Chinese threw off their Mongol
oppressors in 1368 AD during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
was invaded and in the hands of the Mongol during this
period and the Mongols ruled China with a iron hand and the common
Chinese people suffered tremendously during this period. The Chinese
planned to rebel but had a hard time coming up with a comprehensive
plan as the Mongols were very cruel and would punish the people
easily if they even suspect a rebellion was being planned.
is said that mooncakes - which the Mongols did not eat - were
hiding and passing along plans for the rebellion. Families
were instructed not to eat the mooncakes until the day of the
festival, which is when the rebellion took place. On the day of the
festival, the Chinese broke open the moon cake, read the instructions
to raise a rebellion and together with a united voice and action,
overthrew the Mongols on this fateful day.
remember this day when the Chinese overthrew the cruel Mongols,
the Chinese in later generations would remember this day by eating
Mooncakes whenever it is Mid-Autumn festival.
whatever the legend
is, the Mid-Autumn festival is one where Chinese families
around the world would get together and celebrate together.
So, if you have a Chinese friend or neighbor, why not say a
Chiu Jie" or Mid-Autumn festival to them!
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