Tales of Mid-Autumn Festival

9/11/2017 Ying C Other Shenzhen 281

full moon.jpg

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most  important festivals and also a national holiday celebrated in China. The  festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the  lunar calendar when the moon is at its biggest and brightest at night of the  year. There are some interesting tales of Mid-Autumn festival. Have you ever heard  any of them?

Chang'e.jpg  

Chang E Flying to the Moon 


Long time ago, it is said that there are  ten suns in all in the sky, resulting in crops dying away, people are in a poor  standard of living. Pitying for people, a hero named Houyi shoots nine suns  down with his special bow. Civics are grateful for him and oodles of them come  to Houyi to learn skills, among whom bad Pengmeng also get sneaked into the  rank.


One day Houyi goes visit friends in Kunlun  Mountain, getting a medicine from a goddess. Whoever take the magical medicine  can be immortal and live forever young. Houyi is loath to parth with wife,  Chang E, so asked her to keep the medicine. Three days later, Houyi leads his  apprentices going outside hunting. Pengmeng pretends sick and doesn’t follow  them, then force Chang E to hand him the medicine. Chang E has no choice but to  swallow it down in a hurry. The moment medicine is taken down, Chang E can’t  stop but flying away to the sky, being an immortal lady in the moon.


When Houyi getting back home found out both  Pengmeng and wife disappeared, he’s so angry about things happened. He sadly  puts sweet pastries and fruits which is Chang E’s favorite on a censer table to commemorate his wife on that day, which is exactly on the mid autumn in August  in Chinese lunar calendar. From then on, worshiping moon in Mid-autumn Festival  is spreading widely in public.


Wugang Cuts the Cassia Tree
There is a saying goes that a man named  Wugang in moon palace used come from Xihe in Han Dynasty(BC.202-AD.220). Trying  so hard to have become an immortal finally, but he is demoted to be in moon  palace to cut a giant cassia tree every day as the punishment for mistakes he’s  made. Unfortunately, the cassia tree flourishes with more than 1665 meters  high. Moreover, its wounds gets disappeared the moment Wugang cutting down  every time.


White rabbit triturate medicine
It is said that when Chang E start flying  into the sky, she holds up the white rabbit hurriedly which she’s bred always.  The rabbit comes to the moon palace together with Chang E. With hope of living  forever, the rabbit triturates immortal medicine every night. The fairytale is  changed for rabbit triturate rice cake when spreading in Japan.


Tale of Xuanzong
Tale has it that Emperor Tang Xuanzong enjoys the moon together with Taoist priests on mid autumn. Suddenly an idea of  strolling in moon palace comes in his mind. He did make it under the help of Taoist  priests. But he can’t get inside the palace due to heavy guard. At that time,  Xuanzong hears a piece of fairy melody which is extremely beautiful. He bears  that in mind and composes a song exactly like the melody he hears in moon  palace when getting back on earth. And the famous song is named “Ni Chang Yu Yi”(means  rainbow-colored and feathered costumes).


mooncake.jpg  


Mooncakes Uprising 

Eating mooncakes in Mid-autumn Festival  dates back to Yuan Dynasty. The people can’t bear the governor’s cruel rule of  Yuan Dynasty anymore. Zhu Yuanzhang plan to organize uprising with all  resistant forces. However, it is hard to pass on messages because of rigorous  search. So military counsellor Liu Bowen comes up with an idea to stuff a scrip  written on “uprising on 15th August” (in lunar calendar) into mooncakes, then  send for insurrectionary army. As expected, all allied forces gather together  on 15th August. The capital of Yuan Dynasty is occupied very soon. The new  emperor Zhu Yuanzhang is very pleased, giving orders that dispatching memorable  mooncakes to all soldiers and civics to celebrate Mid-autumn Festival. From  then on, eating mooncakes in mid-autumn festival starts spreading among the  people. And mooncakes are made with more varieties and delicater flavor.


These tales above are origins of Mid-autumn  Festival. Whether believe it or not, they are very beautiful tales that are  widely spread in each and every family in China.

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