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Chinese Festivals: Mid-autumn Festival


The Mid-autumn festival is one of the most important cultural festivals of china. The occasion falls on the 15th of the 8th lunar month. It is also known as the "Moon festival". The festival is related with the legend of "Chang Er", a goddess who flew to the moon and lived ever there. The day of the festival occurs between the second week of September and the second week of October.

In Chinese culture, the mid-autumn festival is an occasion for family gatherings. The families watch the beautiful full moon together. They eat moon cakes and sing moon poems in the hope of bringing

happiness in life. The cakes were made of melon seeds, bean paste, minced meat, almonds, lotus seeds, orange peels and lard. The centre of the cake is decorated with a golden yolk from a salted duck egg and the brown crust is decorated with symbols of the festivals. It is a tradition to piled thirteen moon cakes in pyramid to symbolize the thirteen moon of a complete year. The Moon cake is specialty of the Moon festival.

The Mid-autumn festival is also a time for love and merry making. A quite and a silent night with a clear sky and with little mild breeze from the sea makes a perfect night for the festival. The lovers spend their time together with the romantic night atmosphere of the festival. They enjoy the delicious moon cake with some fine wine and watch the full moon together. Couple not together for the night can watch the moon at the same time and feel that they are together for that hour. The joy of the festival can be increased by writing romantic poems for your love ones.

The Mid-autumn festival is a time for relaxation and celebration. People offer varieties of food on altar set up in the courtyard. Varieties of delicious fruits like apples, peaches, grapes, melons, oranges, pomegranates and pomelos are offered to gods. The festival marks the harvesting season of the year. Many special foods like cooked taro, edible snails, and rice paddies cooked with sweet basil and water caltrope are prepared for the festival.

Moon festival is accompanied with many cultural beliefs like lightening lanterns on towers, fire dragon dances, planting mid-autumn trees and burning incense. People play under the moon and enjoy the brightness of the complete moon. People drink wine to celebrate their happiness. They remember their relatives and friends far from home, extend happiness, luck, and love to them.

The Mid-autumn festival is the third major festival according to Chinese calendar. The festival is celebrated with the philosophical belief of the union of man's spirit with nature to achieve perfect harmony.



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