Other Names• -Mid-Autumn Festival• -Moon Festival• -August Moon Festival• -Lantern Festival• -Full Moon Festival
Historical Importance • -One of the two most important Chinese holidays and is a celebration of Abundance and Togetherness • -It is celebrated on the 15th Day of the 8th Lunar Month • -Dates back over 3000 years to China’s Zhou Dynasty
-Hou existed and that took At the time there Yì ten suns Change- turns to circle the Earth, but one day they allcame out at the same time, causing the entire Earth to scorch. Hou Yi was an archer who was commanded by the emperor to shoot down all but one of the suns. After doing so he was rewarded with an Elixir of Life in the form of a pill. He was told that he must prepare himself spiritually before he could take the pill, so he hid it from his wife, Chang’e and left to heal his spirit. Chang’efound and ate the pill and discovered that she could now fly. Hou Yi came back and chased her halfway to the heavens, but eventually had to turn back. Chang’e landed on the moon. Once there, she coughed out part of the pill. Already on the moon was the Jade Rabbit, who made Elixirs, and she asked him to make her a pill that would allow her to go back to Earth. Ever since, he has been pounding a medicine for her. Till this day,every 15 th of August, Hou Yi goes to the moon to vist her. moon to visit Chang’e.
Variations of the Story Hou Yì and Change were originally immortals. One day Hou Yi was told to deal with the ten sons of the Jade Emperor who had transformed into ten suns, causing the Earth to burn. He shot down 9 of them with his bow and arrow. Angered, the emperor sent him and his wife down to Earth as mortals. Hou Yi went on a quest and found the Pill of Life which he would share half of with his wife so they could become immortals again. But his wife, Chang’e, swallowed the whole thing and floated up to the moon where she stayed.
More Stories! Yay! -The Jade Rabbit-In this legend, three fairy sages transformed themselves into pitiful old men, and begged forfood from a fox, a monkey, anda hare. The fox and the monkeyboth had food to give to the old men, but refused and walked away. The hare, empty- handed, jumped into a blazing fire to offer his own flesh instead. The sages were so touched by the hares sacrifice and act of kindness that they chose to let him live in the Moon Palace, where he became the Jade Rabbit.
Traditional Ways to Celebrate - Most Chinese families go outside to drink tea and eat Moon Cakes together, since it is a holiday about togetherness and being with family. - Other’s also burn incense, plant Mid-Autumn trees, light lanterns on towers and fire dragon dances - People usually have big family dinners together and afterwards got to the park to watch a performance of some sort.
Everyone Loves Moon Cakes!-Moon cakes are cakes usually in a round shape, sometimes square, that are filled with mung bean, red bean, etc. -Story of Moon Cakes: during Mongolian rule of China, Rebellion leaders passed out Moon Cakes with a messagesstuffed inside that said things like "Kill the Mongolians on the 15thday of the Eighth Moon" ( 八月十 五殺韃子 ). After a successful rebellion, the Ming Dynasty was established.
Ways to Celebrate (cont.) - It is also common to have barbecues outside under the moon, and to put pomelo rinds on ones head. Brightly lit lanterns are often carried around by children. Together with the celebration, there appear some special customs in different parts of the country, such as burning incense, planting sweet-olive trees, lighting lanterns on towers, and fire dragon dances. Shops selling Moon Cakes, before the festival, often display pictures of Change, floating to the moon.