Chinese Cultural Festivals —– Mid-autumn Day in 2011


        Usually,on the 15th day of the 8th month on the lunar calender,the moon is full and Chinese celebrate a traditional festival-Mid autumn.

One guest ever asked me about the origin of it,I didn’t know how to answer since there are several versions.

Here is one of them:

Celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival is strongly associated with the legend of Houyi and Chang’e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality.

Houyi was an immortal and Chang’e was a beautiful young girl, working in the palace of the Jade Emperor (the Emperor of Heaven) as an attendant to the Queen Mother of the West (the Jade Emperor’s wife). Houyi aroused the jealousy of the other immortals, who then slandered him before the Jade Emperor. Houyi and his wife, Chang’e, were subsequently banished from heaven. They were forced to live on Earth. Houyi had to hunt to survive and became a skilled and famous archer.

At that time, there were ten suns, in the form of three-legged birds, residing in a mulberry tree in the eastern sea. Each day one of the sun birds would have to travel around the world on a carriage, driven by Xihe, the ‘mother’ of the suns. One day, all ten of the suns circled together, causing the Earth to burn. Emperor Yao, the Emperor of China, commanded Houyi to use his archery skill to shoot down all but one of the suns. Upon completion of his task, the Emperor rewarded Houyi with a pill that granted eternal life. Emperor Yao advised Houyi not to swallow the pill immediately but instead to prepare himself by praying and fasting for a year before taking it Houyi took the pill home and hid it under a rafter. One day, Houyi was summoned away again by Emperor Yao. During her husband’s absence, Chang’e, noticed a white beam of light beckoning from the rafters, and discovered the pill. Chang’e swallowed it and immediately found that she could fly. Houyi returned home, realizing what had happened he began to reprimand his wife. Chang’e escaped by flying out the window into the sky.

Houyi pursued her halfway across the heavens but was forced to return to Earth because of strong winds. Chang’e reached the moon, where she coughed up part of the pill.Chang’e commanded the hare that lived on the moon to make another pill. Chang’e would then be able to return to Earth and her husband.

The legend states that the hare is still pounding herbs, trying to make the pill. Houyi built himself a palace in the sun, representing “Yang” (the male principle), in contrast to Chang’e’s home on the moon which represents “Yin” (the female principle). Once a year, on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Houyi visits his wife. That is the reason why the moon is very full and beautiful on that night.

There are also other versions like”Killing the Mongols on the 15th of the eighth month”in Yuan Dynasty,or the worship of the God of the Moon in very ancient times,etc.

To celebrate it,we held a great event—Chinese Cultural Festival VS  Han Clothing Show.

We invited some professional dancers or actors in Han clothing to perform here.Sword Dance,Nunchakuz,T stage Show,Beijing Opera…All of them were more wonderful than imaged.

The audience were from different places all over the world,they chatted and played games together…

Four presenters were there to preside over the event,two in Chinese,two in English.

At around 10 p.m.,it was the time for the last part of it.Everyone came together,preparing to put on various costumes and experiencing the Chinese cultures.

We took pctures,shared the feelings,helped each other to dress,and laughed…^_^

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