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Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

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Pohan Wang

on 19 September 2011

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Transcript of Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Mid-Autumn Moon Festivel The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival. The description of the festival first apperared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the western Zhou Dynasty from 3,000 years ago. The celebration became popular during the early Tang Dynasty. According to a widespread folk tale, the Mid-Autumn Festival commemorates an uprising in China against the Mongol rulers. As group gatherings were banned, it was impossible to make plans for a rebellion. Noting that the Mongols did not eat mooncakes, Liu Bowen, advisor to the Chinese rebel leader, came up with the idea of timing the rebellion to coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival. He sought permission to distribute thousands of moon cakes to the Chinese residents in the city to bless the longevity of the Mongol emperor. Inside each cake, however, was inserted a piece of paper with the message: "Kill the Mongols on the 15th day of the 8th month." On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government. Since then, the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated with moon cakes on a national level. Taiwanese started the trend of barbecuing with friends and family at the Mid-Autumn Festival. This trend traces from different statements, some say that it is because people usually get hungry when they are watching the moon, so outdoors barbecue has become widespread among people. However, the take-off of the Taiwanese economy and the influence of western life styles was also a reason which made people change their traditional customs. Mooncakes are typically round but smaller, with less elaborate fillings. More recently, some versions of the cake from Hong Kong seem to be gaining popularity. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. It is a Chinese and Taiwanese public holiday. The pomelo is a beloved fruit of the Mid-Autumn Festival, and the Chinese are loath to waste any part of it. After munching the pomelo's sweet and juicy flesh, the Chinese don't dispose of the skin; instead, they put the pomelo rinds on their heads. In Mandarin, pomelos are called (you zi), a homophone for words that mean "prayer for a son." Therefore, eating pomelos and putting their rinds on the head signify a prayer for the youth in the family. In addition, the Chinese believe that by placing pomelo rinds on their heads, the moon goddess Chang'e will see them and respond to their prayers when she looks down from the moon. Resources:

The Chinese moon festival is about food and celebration. As we know, this festival is also called the Harvest festival, this is because of the fact that the vegetables and grains have been harvested and it is not the time for celebration and relaxation.

The festival is celebrated by following some traditions that have been prominent since the first century. Fruits and vegetables are put up on an alter in courtyards. Some typical traditional foods like moon cakes, cooked taro, edible snails and water caltrope are must in ever house celebrating the Chinese moon festival. One of the most important things to do is eat moon cakes under the moon! They also put pomelo rinds on their heads and carry bright lanterns. No Chinese tradition is complete without burning incense, incense sticks are burned and respect is given to the deity of Chang’e.

Since it is also the Harvest festival, some people, mostly farmers will plant mid-autumn trees. Dandelion leaves are collected and distributed among family members. And lets not forget the colorful fire dragon dances on streets. Diana Gove and Pohan Wang
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