Celebration of Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival, also known as August 15 (Traditional Chinese: 中秋节; Simplified Chinese: 中秋节; pinyin: Zhōngqiùjié; Vietnam: Tet Trung Thu, Japan: Tsukimi; Korea: Chuseok ), is celebrated on the evening of the 15th day of the eighth lunar month (hence the translation by August 15), which is always a full moon night, that day, the full moon is the roundest and brightest year, which symbolizes the unity of the family and the congregation.
It is generally agreed to see the synthesis of an ancient lunar cult and an agricultural festival, celebrating the year's harvest with a feast. It's the birthday of the God Sol, the "official divine local farmers and take the opportunity to seek his kindness for years to come.
The festival mid-autumn is one of the two most important holidays of the Chinese calendar, the other being the Chinese Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year, it is a holiday in many Asian countries.
Origin history and legend
Under the Tang Dynasty (618-901), the Tujue, a national minority frequently attacked the northern border of China.
The Emperor Li Shimin sent General Li Jing to the head of an army. After several months of war, Li Jing was able to repel Tujue and restore peace.
The military campaign ended, the general returned to Chang'an, the capital, where he arrived on August 15 of lunar calendar. The Emperor was welcome with great fanfare as a hero, the sound of bells and drums.
In honor of this victory and peace restored, a merchant from Chang'an to the Emperor created a special cake round and colored. The Emperor Li Shimin distributed it to his ministers and told them he had to eat to invite the moon. That is why he is called "moon cake".
Since then, the festival of the Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节 (zhongqiujie) is an opportunity for the Chinese eat moon cakes 月饼 (yue bing) ... and perhaps also to remember the Emperor Li Shimin and General Li Jing.
The popular historical tradition is that the signal of revolt against the Han Chinese Mongolian Yuan dynasty that would bring the advent of the Ming was given through hidden messages inside these pastries. Indeed, unlike the Chinese, the Mongols did not eat these cakes. The message hidden in the cake was "Kill the barbarians on the fifteenth of the eighth month" (八月 十五 杀 鞑 子).
Under the moonlight
The moon has long been the star of this festival is also called the Feast of the moon. In many parts of China, we consider as the most beautiful autumn season, rather dry and temperate, and the moon of mid-autumn is deemed to be the most beautiful. So around which are organized festivities, traditionally called shang yue 赏月 (contemplation of the moon) and zou yue 走 月 (walk under the moon), which are realized by a picnic night popular .
In urban areas, parks and school yards are open to that effect, and some are quick to settle on the sidewalk with their barbecue equipment. The children walk around with lanterns lit. Farmers celebrate the harvest and the end of the growing season.
It uses the famous moon cakes (yue bing 月饼) The traditional model has a sweet bean paste or coating dates often yolk salted duck's egg, which recalls the moon (the mixture of sweet and salty is quite acceptable for Chinese pastry).
The surface is decorated with relief in connection with the legends or sinograms auspicious lunar, and more recently prosaic characters indicating the content of cakes to facilitate the selection of clients before their increasing diversity.
The popular legend relates the existence of a goddess named Chang'e 嫦娥, a rabbit and a lumberjack living on the moon. Stores that sell mooncakes just before the festival often show the image of the goddess Chang'e floating to the moon.
Linked to the yin energy of the couple Yin-Yang, the moon is a feminine symbol. Documents referring to the ancient lunar cult claim that was made exclusively by women. On the other hand, according to tradition, the friendships made and broken under the gaze of the moon, and marriages are arranged at birth with a mythical character called the Old Man in the Moon (yuexialaoren 月下老人).
All these factors combine to make the festival of the Mid-Autumn evening a business friendly fiction. In the rural society of the past, the girls went into the fields and gardens obscure him from groping a plant vegetables.
Some types, chives (葱 Cong) for example, particularly augured well for the future marriage. The romantic rendezvous today have replaced this custom, called "theft of vegetables" (touguacai 偷 瓜菜).
Even the emperors are not immune to the magical atmosphere of this festival. Legend has it that the Tang emperor Xuan-zong, whose life is full of anecdotes fiction, has heard that night from the terrace of his palace wonderful music from the moon palace he had memorized and transcribed. This is the origin of the song "clothing rainbow and feather" (nishangyuyiqu 霓 棠 羽衣 曲).
The Taoist tradition, echoed the themes of ancient Chinese mythology to create these two legends associated with the moon: "The leak of Chang-e (嫦娥奔月) and" cut the cinnamon Wugang (吴刚 砍 桂).
The archer was to wife Houyi 后羿 some e-Heng 姮 娥 (whose name was changed because of its Chang'e homonymy with a name of Emperor). He had given an elixir of life offered by Xiwangmu, which in the Taoist tradition reigns over a land of immortality lies to the West. Not wanting to wait until an advanced age to consume his part, advised him as her husband, Chang-e absorbed the entire dose and immediately felt his body begin to float.
Too embarrassed by his behavior to get to heaven immortals as planned, she went into exile on the moon from where it is supposed to live in a palace of jade called Guanghangong 广寒宫. She has been joined by Wugang, an apprentice immortal banished for his lack of determination and sentenced to cut a cinnamon magic that is continually pushing.
Also in the lineage of Taoism, lived on the moon a hare often depicted with his apothecary mortar. Some ancient traditions associate the moon toad and the hare.
See Also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist