Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

On August 15 according to the lunar calendar every year is the traditional mid-autumn festival in China, and the The Mid-Autumn Festival and the Chinese New Year, the Ching Ming Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival are known as the four big traditional festivals of Chinese Han nation. According to historical records, ancient emperors have ceremonies of worshipping the sun in spring and worshipping the moon in autumn, and the festival period of worshipping the moon is on August 15 according the lunar calendar,. which is just the time meet the mid time of the autumn, therefore it was called as “Mid-Autumn”, at the same time, owing to this festival is in August in Autumn, so it was also been called as “Autumn Festival”, "August Festival", "August Gathering," "Mid-Autumn Day";

At the same time, as there are faith of praying for reunion and related customs and activities, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also been called as “Union Day” and “Daughter’s Day”. And for the main activities in the Mid-Autumn Festival were carried on around the “Moon”, so it was been called as “Moon Day”, “Moon Eve”, “Moon Pursuing Festival” , “Moon Enjoying Day” and “Moon Worshipping Day”; In the Tang dynasty, the mid-autumn festival were also called as “Decorum Month”. With regard to the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival there are three types approximately: Origins from the worshipping of moon in ancient times, custom of dancing and looking for pal in the moonlight, religue of worshipping the gnome in autumn in ancient times.

As the Mid-Autumn Festival is coincides with the fruit harvest season, so fruits and melons were be used as sacrific food to the moon goodness that also were contained a few cultural connotations: Water melon symbolizes reunion, guava symbolizes grand-generativity, persimmon symbolizes auspicious, jujube symbolizes to have sons earlier, chestnut symbolizes offspring get married and start a career earlier and so on. At the same time, there are also taboos in the custom, such as sweet pears could not be used as sacrificed offerings to the moon goodness, for pear in Chinese pronunciation means separation, and implied disaster, which is oppose to the reunion meanings of the mid-autumn festival.

The climax of the Mid-Autumn Festival is on the night of August 15 according to the lunar calendar, the whole family gather together to have reunion dinners, which is called "round moon." If there are some relatives did not return home, their dinnerware should placed on the dinner table that to symbolize the family reunion. In the dinner cuisine, “August osmanthus duck”(a type of water boiled salted duck) is an essential dish, second is soybean cooked with young chicken, taro or ripe water chestnut cooked with braised pork in brown sauce.

From 2008, Mid-Autumn Festival is regulated as a National Holiday by the government, China attaches great importance to the protection of intangible cultural heritage, on May 20, 2006, the holiday was approved as the first batch of national grade intangible cultural heritage by the State Council.

Wish good persons all could have a peaceful life, wish you happy
Mid-Autumn Festival!

* Original address of this China gift post: China Gift and Fine Arts & Crafts in China

1 comment:

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