Created by Wendy Da September 2002 Mid-Autumn Festival
According to the lunar calendar, the seventh, eighth, and ninth months constitute the autumn season. Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15 th day of the eighth lunar month, precisely in the middle of this season, when the heat of the summer has given way to cool autumn weather, marked by blue skies and gentle breezes. On this day, the moon's orbit is at its lowest angle to the horizon, which means that the moon is at its greatest distance from the earth. It makes the moon appear brighter and larger than any other time of the year. Middle Autumn Festival
This is the time set aside in the busy agricultural year to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with offerings of melons, round cakes, and pomegranates. The earliest records are of the great Han dynasty emperor Wu Di (156-87 B.C.), who initiated celebrations lasting three days, including banquets and “ Viewing the Moon” evenings. From that time, this became an outdoor festival. With the heavy labors of farming over, people planned a leisurely day of thanksgiving and pleasure, hiking, and picnicking in the valleys and mountains. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions where friends and relatives gather together to eat “ Moon Cake” and watch the moon, its perfectly round shape forming the ideal symbol of familial harmony and unity. Mid Autumn Festival
During the Mid-Autumn Festival, people eat moon cakes, a kind of cookie with fillings of sugar, sesame, walnut, and other materials. It is so called because it is made in the form of a disc representing the full moon. Apart from the Moon Cakes, other foods offered are: melons, Chinese Tea, pomegranates, or peaches, symbols of long life. eat moon cake
The moon cake often has a flower or leaf design on the top. Sometimes they are piled thirteen high— one cake for every lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Activity —Draw a picture to show the thirteen-high moon cakes. How many moon cakes will you need to build up this moon cake pagoda? Old legend about the Moon Cake —A long time ago China was ruled by foreigners. The Chinese wanted to get rid of them. During the Harvest Moon Festival, they hid messages inside moon cakes and passed them around to let everyone know of a secret plan of attack. At the arranged time, they got together and overthrew their cruel rulers. Eating the Moon Cake
Viewing the Moon in the evening on the Mid-Autumn Festival are enjoyable to all Chinese families. The parents will tell their children about the moon and its legends. The beautiful lanterns will have been carried around. Early in the evening, the full moon is greeted by a procession of lanterns, of various shapes—rabbits, fishes, dragons, birds, etc., all powerful symbols of Chinese mythology. The Mid-Autumn Festival is China’ s second greatest traditional festival next to the the Spring Festival. look Moon/month bright
Chinese Legends of the Moon Festival The Archer and Moon Lady— The Archer shot down nine suns from the sky and became the King. His wife Chang E swallowed the pill of immortality and flew to the moon. The Jade Rabbit — Buddha made the rabbit an image that should decorate the moon as a shining example of humbleness, compassion and mercy for all time. The Moon Goddess —The Old Matchmaker spends his days reading and matching the names of boys and girls on earth. He ties the feet of each couple with a red cord. The Woodcutter —Wu Gong is a former scholar condemned to the endless task of cutting a tree that repairs itself.
Chinese people in ancient times regarded the full moon as the symbol for reunion. So the day is also called the Reunion Festival. Through the ages people used to use the waxing and the waning of the moon to describe joys and sorrows, partings and reunions. Men residing far away from home even more often found spiritual substance in the moon. Poets through the ages left us soul-stirring lines on the moon. think home person
Thoughts in the Silent Night Poem by Li Bai (701-7620) Beside my bed a pool of light – Is it hoarfrost on the ground? I lift my eyes and see the moon, I bend my head and think of home. Viewing the Moon on August 15th Poem by Wang Jian The county yard filled with moon light, the sparrow was rest on the tree, The cassiabark tree was wet by the cold dew. The moon is special bright tonight and Everyone is looking at it, But who will get my thoughts? 静夜思 李白 床前明月光 , 疑是地上霜 . 举头望明月 , 低头思故乡 . 十五夜月寄杜郎中 王建 中庭地白树栖鸦 , 冷露无声湿桂花 . 今夜月明人尽望 , 不知秋思落谁家 ?