WS K88

WS K88
Erich's new place where different things will happen, but still the center of the universe and the navel of the world

Aug 31, 2008

Mid Autumn Festival also known as Chinese Moon Festival

The Mid-autumn Festival also known as Chinese Moon Festival is celebrated on the 15th moon day of 8th Chinese lunar month which is the 14 September in 2008.
The first day of 8th lunar month this year is 31st August.
Moon cakes have played a central role in Moon Festival traditions. Once, according to Chinese legend (not necessarily supported by historical records), moon cakes helped bring about a revolution. I was during the Yuan dynasty (AD 1280-1368), when the Mongolians invaded from the north and subjugated the Han Chinese. The rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang (left) who plotted to overthrow the tyrannical rule of the Yuan dynasty sought permission from Mongolian leaders to give gifts to friends as a symbolic gesture to honor the longevity of the Mongolian emperor.

These gifts were round moon cakes. Inside, Zhu had his followers place pieces of paper with the date the Han Chinese were to strike out in rebellion to overthrow the Mongols, thus ending the Yuan dynasty -- on the fifteenth night of the eighth month. These days lanterns were used at night as signals from higher grounds and hilltop.
Hence today, far from the exotic and heroic legends, Chinese communities all over the world make, consume and exchange as gifts these moon-shaped pastries with sweet fillings of red bean and lotus seed paste, during the traditional autumn Moon Festival.
This is a day to worship the moon god an according to folk legend it is also the birthday of the earth god (T'u-ti Kung). The Chinese believe in praying to the moon god for protection, family unity, and good fortune.
The moon festival signals that the year's hard work in the fields will soon come to an end, with only the harvest left to attend to. People use this opportunity to express their gratitude to heaven (represented by the moon) and earth (symbolized by the earth god) for the blessings they have enjoyed over the past year. Traditionally, on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomelos together. The round "moon cakes" are symbolic of family unity and closeness.

Pomelos are also eaten on this day. The Chinese word for "pomelo" or "grapefruit" is yu, which is homophonous with the word for "protection," yu, expressing the hope that the moon god give them protection. Moon gazing is another essential part of this festival. On this day, the moon is at its roundest and brightest. This is also a time for lovers to tryst and pray for togetherness, symbolized by the roundness of the moon. Lanterns were used at night as signals from higher grounds and hilltop.
Today, this festival is celebrated with moon cakes and lantern hanging on the house. The lantern and the moon cakes have attracted many children and adults attention. In certain area, lantern procession and competition are held.

In Singapore the Chinese Garden is the special venue for this most beautiful of all the Chinese festivals. Many traditional festivals all over the world have been transformed into highly commercial ones and lots of kitsch is displayed for sale.

I definitely can't find any link between Chinese tradition, moon cakes or lanterns and David Beckham, can you?

Even this "white" guy has no resemblance with any ancient customs, however he is probably the most renown and popular "ang moh" in the Chinatown Night Market.

1 comment:

  1. 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.
    To find more about Chinese culture ,you can go to