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Mid-Autumn Festival

Mr. Ha

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of 中秋节

Mid-Autumn Festival
By Noah Ha and Michelle Shen
The Legend of Chang E
Thinking of his wife day and night...
One day when Hou Yi led his disciples to go hunting, Peng Meng, sword in hand, rushed into the inner chamber and tried to force Chang E to hand over the elixir.
Hou Yi had a beautiful and kind-hearted wife named Chang E.

Aware that she was unable to defeat Peng Meng, Chang E made a desperate decision at that critical moment.
-Traditionally, the lantern has been used to symbolize fertility, and functioned mainly as a toy and decoration, But today the lantern has come to symbolize the festival itself
1. The moon represents my heart, and these moon cakes represent my love. I wish you health and happiness forever, good luck and wealth be with you forever! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
People in different parts of China have different ways of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival. However, some customs are the same throughout the whole country.

On Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese people usually have a dinner together called tuányuánfàn, which is a family reunion dinner.
By Noah Ha and Michelle Shen
And that's what makes the
Mid-Autumn Festival
It started with this guy named Houyi...
Once in Ancient China there were ten suns rising in the sky, which scorched all crops and famine swept through the land.

Houyi was a brilliant archer and was worried about the people, so he ascended to the top of the Kunlun Mountain and shot down nine suns one after another.
He also ordered the last sun to rise and set according to time. Houyi became a hero because of this and was respected by the people.

Lots of people of ideals and integrity came to him to learn martial arts.
One of these people was known as Peng Meng.
One day Hou Yi encountered the Empress of Heaven, Wangmu. For his courageous act, Empress Wangmu presented to him a parcel of elixir. If he should take the elixir, he would ascend immediately to heaven and become a celestial being.

Hou Yi, however, hated to part with his wife. So he gave the elixir to Chang E to treasure for the time being.

Chang E hid the parcel in a treasure box at her dressing table when, unexpectedly, it was seen by Peng Meng.
She took up the elixir and swallowed it in one gulp. As soon as she swallowed the elixir, her body floated off the ground, flew out of the window and dashed towards heaven. Peng Meng escaped.
When Hou Yi returned home that night, he was told by his servants what had happened.
Overcome with grief, Hou Yi looked up into the night sky and called out the name of his beloved wife until, to his surprise, he found that the moon was especially clear and bright, and on it, there was a swaying shadow that looked exactly like his wife. He tried his best to chase after the moon, but as he ran, the moon retreated and as he withdrew, the moon came back. He could not get to the moon no matter how hard he tried.
Hou Yi had an incense table arranged in the back garden that Chang E loved. Putting on the table the sweetmeats and fresh fruits Chang E enjoyed most, Hou Yi held at a distance a memorial ceremony for Chang E.
When the people heard that Chang E had turned into a celestial being, they arranged a similar incense table in the moonlight one after another and prayed to kind-hearted Chang E for good fortune and peace. From then on, the custom of worshipping the moon spread among the people. People in different places follow various customs, but all show their love and longing for a better life.

Gathering: such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting crops

Thanksgiving: to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions

Praying (asking for conceptual or material satisfaction): such as for children, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future
The festival consists of three fundamental meanings which are closely tied to one another:
People set the Mid-autumn festival on August 15 of the lunar calendar because that was the day that Chang E became a celestial being.
- The word “mid-autumn” first appeared in the Zhou Dynasty (c. 1050–256 BC)
By Noah Ha and Michelle Shen
Other historical facts...
- it was not until the early Tang Dynasty (618–907) was the day officially celebrated as a traditional festival
For Children, there is something called Deng Long, the lantern
They come in various different shapes to please the children.
Other common presents are: mooncake, fruit (pomelos), Chinese preserved meat sausages and season fruit like star fruit.
2. The Mid-Autumn Festival has come, and festival greetings follow close behind. I hope you can enjoy the full moon, a reunion with your family, smooth sailing, good flowers, good times, and good things following you.
If the weather is nice, families may also sit outside to admire the full moon (while eating mooncake) and chat about (jicháng) daily life matters.
The Han people’s army wanted to overthrow the rule of the Mongols, so they planned an uprising, but they had no way to inform every Han who wanted to join them of the time of the uprising without being discovered by the Mongols.

One day, the military counselor of the Han people’s army, Liu Bowen, thought out a strategy. Liu Bowen asked his soldiers to spread the rumor that there would be a serious disease in winter and eating mooncakes was the only way to cure the disease, then he asked soldiers to write "uprising, at the night of Mid-Autumn Festival" on papers and put them into mooncakes then sell them to common Han people. When the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival came a huge uprising broke out. From then on, people eat mooncakes every Mid-Autumn Festival to commemorate the uprising.
The tradition of eating mooncakes during the festival began near the end of the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), a dynasty ruled by the Mongols.
Also, the more egg yolk there is in the mooncake, the more presentable it is as a gift and the more expensive it is.
Other foods eaten during the Mid-autumn Festival
The Pumpkin:
The tradition of eating pumpkin during the festival is followed by people living south of the Yangtze River. Poor families chose to eat pumpkin during the Mid-Autumn Festival in ancient times, as they couldn't afford mooncakes. The tradition has been passed down, and eating pumpkin on the Mid-Autumn Festival night is believed to bring people good health.
River Snails
Traditionally, river snails are an indispensable food for the Mid-Autumn Festival dinner for people in Guangzhou. River snails are usually cooked with medicinal herbs to dispel their unpleasant odor. Eating river snails during the Mid-Autumn Festival is believed to help brighten the eyes.
Eating taro during the mid-autumn festival is believed to dispel to bad lack and bring good luck and wealth. The tradition began during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).
Drink wine fermented with osmanthus flower
Drinking wine fermented with osmanthus flowers has a long history in China. Chinese people began to drink such wine over 2000 years ago. This wine may be preferred because the Mid-Autumn Festival is when the osmanthus flowers are in full bloom. Drinking the wine signifies family reunions and a happy life.
-The Mid-autumn Festival dates back over 3,000 years, to moon worshipping in the Shang Dynasty
Chang E then became the Moon Goddess of Immortality, and is the reason why people worship the moon as a common activity during the Mid-autumn Festival.
Mid-autumn Festival Poems
In the literary history of China, many poets penned praise to the pure moon of mid-autumn night and gave words to their "delicate" feelings.
Thoughts in the Silent Night
Li Bai

The moonlight is shining through the window
And it makes me wonder if it is the frost on the ground ,
Looking up to see the moon ...
Looking down I miss so much about my hometown.

Li Bai used his lines to express his homesickness during the Moon Festival.
This year, the Mid-Autumn festieval falls on September 19 of the Solar Calendar.
By Noah Ha and Michelle Shen
Full transcript