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Saturday, 13 September 2008

Happy Mooncake Festival aka Mid-Autumm Festival


The time of the year has come again. A much waited time of the year for moon cakes fans like me !! This time is also knows as the mid-autumm festival , in the good old days where childrens and adults alike carry lanterns around ,which has since been substituted with battery operated ones.

What is the hidden meaning of this festival ? A quick search thru Wikipedia reveals this :-

The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節, zhōng qiū jié), also known as the Moon Festival, is a popular East Asian celebration of abundance and togetherness, dating back over 3,000 years to China's Zhou Dynasty.[dubious ] In Malaysia and Singapore, it is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival. The Chinese Lantern Festival is held on the 15th day of the first lunar month.

The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (usually around mid- or late-September in the Gregorian calendar), a date that parallels the Autumn Equinox of the solar calendar. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two most important holidays in the Chinese calendar (the other being the Chinese Lunar New Year), and is a legal holiday in several countries. Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally, on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomeloes together. Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as:

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

Shops selling mooncakes, before the festival, often display pictures of Chang'e floating to the moon.


As usual, traditional festivals celebrations has few versions of their origins, and the Mid-Autumm festival is not left behind too....another popular version is such....

While Westerners may talk about the "man in the moon", the Chinese talk about the "woman in the moon". The story of the fateful night when Chang'e was lifted up to the moon, familiar to most Chinese citizens, is a favorite subject of poets. Unlike many lunar deities in other cultures who personify the moon, Chang'e lives in the moon. Tradition places Houyi and Chang'e around 2170 BC, in the reign of the legendary Emperor Yao, shortly after that of Huang Di.

There are so many variations and adaptations of the Chang'e legend that one can become overwhelmed and utterly confused. However, most legends about Chang'e in Chinese mythology involve some variation of the following elements: Houyi, the Archer; Chang'e, the mythical Moon Goddess of Immortality; an emperor, either benevolent or malevolent; an elixir of life; and the Moon:


Whatever it maybe..HAPPY MOONCAKE FESTIVAL to all...

signing off to get another piece of delicious mooncake to go with my pu-erh tea !!!




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