Mid-Autumn festival is one of the most important festivals in China, this year, I had my first not-in-China festival. However, it didn’t stop Chinese people aboard gather together and share the happiness. Furthermore, I had moon cakes as well.
The story of Mid-Autumn Festival
If you have heard the story of this festival from different Chinese people, you might have doubts. As we have different editions, no one know what the real story is. Once upon a time, there are ten suns in the sky, people were suffering and the crops kept dying. There was a hero Houyi who’s an excellent archer shot down nine of the suns and left only one. He got the elixir that he can become immortal. Till now, the story is still the same, however, why Houyi’s wife Chang’e took the elixir, we have various reasons.
Edition 1. Houyi’s action made the God angry, so he forbid them to go back to the heaven. Houyi didn’t care so much, instead Chang’e was worried she would get older then die like normal people. One night, she stole it and ate it. She became as light as cloud, unfortunately she flew to the moon. It’s empty in the moon, there’s only a tree and a rabbit. Then she looked down and saw the people so happy with family on the earth. She shouldn’t have stolen the elixir.
Edition 2. There is a guy Peng Meng knew the secret, and he forced Chang’e to give him the elixir when Houyi’s not home. Chang’e swallowed the elixir in order to protect the elixir. The moment she took it, she flew up into the sky. Since she loved Houyi so much, she chose to live in the moon where is nearest.
Edition 3. It said that Houyi had an affair with other woman, therefore, Chang’e was desperate and took the elixir. She lived alone with a rabbit.
What do we do in Mid-autumn festival?
Mooncake is the tradition for this festival. It’s made from wheat flour and different stuffing, such as sweeten bean paste, five kinds of seeds, and salted egg yolk. Of course, nowadays you have new and creative stuffing like ice-cream. It is a symbol of family reunion, family members will gather together and share a piece of mooncake.
In this day, the moon is always bright and round. Back in time, we didn’t have so many skyscrapers, we could chill with family and neighbours around the house, and appreciate the moon. Now, probably in a nice-view balcony, or the upper platform for people to see the moon. In Guangzhou, going to Baiyun mountain, it’s also one of the tradition, because there will be lantern show and it’s closer to the sky. 😛
There are a lot of difference from the past, I was a huge fan of mid-autumn festival. Not only could I ate the egg yolk of every mooncakes and put the mooncake back to original, but I could also have lots of fun with my cousins and friends. We all had our own lanterns, different shapes, different color, and we loved lighting them up. Well, a bit modern, we had the electric ones can light and play music at the same time. I can hardly describe how fun it is to carry a lantern and play. Sometimes, I do feel pity for the new generation, because instead of having fun outside with friends, they stay with their phones. Anyway, parents still take their children out to play with the lanterns.
Homesick in the Chinese day
Festival for me is all about “Eat together”, just as Christmas. There are billions of Chinese all over the world, I am sure all of them are trying to do something in this festival, no matter where they are. Some might bake mooncakes and share, some might invite friends for dinner, some might have a big meal with family, while someone like me just bought a mooncake and call my family, simple as that. On the other hand, as a Chinese in a country with western culture, I miss my city, my family so much, especially in the Chinese day. If you do have a Chinese friend, give him or her wishes, or even a hug. 🙂