Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the Chinese traditional festivals, which is also popular among the countries influenced by Sinosphere. The festival is every August 15th in the Chinese Traditional Calendar, which is September 27th this year.
- Origins and Development
According to historians, the Chinese have celebrated the Mid-Autumn since Chun & Qiu Period (770 B.C. – 476 B.C.). It was for emperors to offer sacrifices to gods and ancestors. People celebrated this because of their happiness from bumper harvest. Since Northern Song of The Song Dynasty (960 -1127), Mid-Autumn has been a festival for every family to celebrate. From The Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), Mid-Autumn became the second most important festival after the Chinese New Year. Since 2008, Mid-Autumn has been an official holiday for everyone not to go to study and work.
- Customs and Celebrations
In ancient China, people prayed to the moon with their families and sacrificed their mooncakes, watermelons, apples and some other fruits. They also guessed the riddles written on lanterns, ate different mooncakes, watched Sweet Olive flowers, and drank cassia wine. Nowadays, people get a break from their studies and work, and go home to meet their families. Every family buys mooncakes and cooks a lot of food for the dinner. People like to gather together because Mid-Autumn is a symbol of both love and family.
- Myths and Legends
There were a lot of myths and legends about gods in ancient China. They were either the imaginations for science from the people in ancient times, or stories to encourage people to be a better person and work harder. About Mid-Autumn, there was a famous myth or story about Yi and his beautiful wife Chang’e. Yi is a strong hero who saved the world; Chang’e is a beautiful and kind woman. It was a myth to encourage people in Eastern Han of The Han Dynasty (25 – 220) to be nice and work hard, and also praise true love.
Until next time!