Sunday, October 4, 2009

[non food post] The Mid Autumn Festival

1437092112_e3fdb14239 The 15th day of the eight lunar month is China’s traditional Mid Autumn Festival.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar,the lunar eighth, ninth, and 10th months make up autumn. The eighth months falls in the middle of the month, hence the name “Mid Autumn Festival”. On that day, the Chinese have the custom to admire and eat moon cakes.chinesemooncake2

In Autumn, it is fine and cool, there are few floating clouds in the sky and the moon at night seems  particularly bright. This is especially true on the 15th day of the eight lunar month, Since people consider the full moon as the symbol of reunion and satisfaction, the festival is also called “the Festival for Reunion”.

According to traditional custom, Chinese people moon_cakeenjoy fruits and moon cakes while admiring the moon. As the moon cake is round, symbolising reunion, it is sometimes called “Reunion Cake”. The Chinese moon cake has many varieties and production methods differ from place to place. There are sweet, salty, meat, and vegetable fillings. It has various decorative patterns and words.

in autumn, people reap the results of their year’s labour. On the night of Mid-Autumn Festival, the whole family will sit together to admire the moon and eat moon cakes, filled with happiness for the bumper harvest and a family reunion. At that time, people far away from mid-autumn-festivalhometown will also look up at the moon and miss their hometown and family members.

Since ancient times, China has had many fairy tales and legends about the moon, among which the most famous is “Chang’e Flying to the Moon”. Chang’e was the wife of Houyi in ancient Chinese myths. Legends has it that she swallowed an elixir stolen from the Grand Old Lady of the West, became an immortal and flew to the moon place.

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