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Zhong Qiu Kuai Le!

05 September 2014

We are not in school next Monday 8 September, due to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival, but how much do you know about this festival?

Year 9 students acting out the story the Goddess Chang's flight to the moon

Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival in China. It takes its name from the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest.

In Mandarin class this week, students have been learning about the history of the Moon Festival, what Chinese people traditionally do or eat on this day and the significance of the day for Chinese people and their Culture.

In Year 9 Native Mandarin, students also played out the characters from the story of the Goddess Chang's flight to the moon. Legend says that Chang Er flew to the moon, where she has lived ever since. You might see her dancing on the moon during the Moon Festival.

Below Mandarin teacher, Marie Ma, tells us a bit more about the legends and customs associated with the Moon Festival.

Legends

In addition to the romantic legend of Chang Er Flying to the Moon mentioned above, there are many other legends and stories related to this grand festival. The most well-known ones include Jade Rabbit Pounding Medicine, Wu Gang Chopping Laurel Tree, and Zhu Yuanzhang and the Moon Cake Uprising. 

Customs

On the festival day, family members gather to appreciate the bright full moon and offer sacrifice to it, eat moon cakes and express who much they miss family members and friends who live far away. In addition, there are some other customs like releasing lanterns and performing dragon and lion dances in some regions

Moon Cakes

The Moon Cake is the special food of Mid-Autumn Festival. People will present moon cakes to the moon as an offering and eat them for celebration. Moon cakes come in various flavours depending on the region. Moon cakes are round, symbolizing the reunion of a family, so it is easy to understand how the eating of moon cakes under the round moon can evoke longing for distant relatives and friends. Nowadays, people present moon cakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life.