An Introduction of Mid – Autumn Day
There is a Chinese ancient poem: A lonely stranger in a strange land I am cast, I miss my family all the more on every festive day (独在异乡为异客，每逢佳节倍思亲). As the mid – autumn day is approaching, I think everyone would miss their family more, especially mid – autumn day is a family united festival and most people in this city come from other cities. Now let’s learn something about mid – autumn day.
Held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, the Mid–Autumn Festival (also called Moon Cake Festival) is the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival in China. The Mid-Autumn Festival is an evening celebration when families gather together to light lanterns, eat moon cakes and appreciate the round moon. On that night, the moon appears to be at its roundest and brightest. The full moon is a symbol for family reunion, which is why that day is also known as the Festival of Reunion.
This festival is celebrated by Chinese and people of some southeastern and northeastern Asian countries. Although it is celebrated on the same day, each country has different customs on the celebration. Mostly workers can have one day off during the day.
The festival is intricately linked to the legends of Chang E, the mythical Moon Goddess of Immortality. According to “Li-Ji”, an ancient Chinese book recording customs and ceremonies, the Chinese Emperor should offer sacrifices to the sun in spring and the moon in autumn.
The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations date back to more than 2,000 years ago. In those times, Chinese emperors prayed to Heaven for a prosperous year. In mid-autumn, farmers have just finished gathering their crops and bringing in fruits from the orchards. They are overwhelmed with joy when they have a bumper harvest and at the same time, they feel quite relaxed after a year of hard work. So the 15th day of the eighth lunar month (the Mid-Autumn Festival) has gradually evolved as a widely celebrated festival for ordinary people.
There are various ways to celebrate mid – autumn day contemporarily. The most common customs include eating moon cakes, worshiping the moon and carrying of brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, or floating sky lanterns. Eating and sharing Moon cakes is like a symbol of mid – autumn day, and moon cake is developed of many various kinds now. One tradition involving lanterns, dēng mí (灯谜), is to write riddles on lanterns and have other people try to guess the answers.
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