Fri, 07 Oct 2022


Every year on August 15th of the lunar calendar is the Mid-Autumn Festival! Let's learn about the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival, watch the story of Hou Yi shooting the sun, and celebrate the festival together.


Most countries will appreciate the moon and worship the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival. (Photo via Unsplash.com)

Taipei, Taiwan (Merxwire) - Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Spring Festival are the three major festivals for the Chinese. Although each country celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival differently in Asia, most of them reunite with their families and admire the moon. At this time, people will thank the gods and ancestors for their blessings, pray for a safe and prosperous year in the coming year, and hope for a better life.

Mid-autumn festival to admire the moon?

In China, people eat round moon cakes and admire the moon. In Taiwan, there is also a barbecue, in addition to eating moon cakes and admiring the moon. In Japan, people eat round Dango made of sticky rice under the moon. In South Korea, people eat a half-moon-shaped glutinous rice snack to symbolize the change of the moon, the beautiful transition from a semicircle to a circle.

In Southeast Asia, the Mid-Autumn Festival in Thailand is also known as the festival of worshiping the moon, and the main activities are praying for blessings and offering sacrifices. In Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a day for children. People not only eat moon cakes and admire the moon on this day but also take children to the streets to watch the lion dance.

In Singapore, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Lantern Festival, and relatives and friends will give each other moon cake gift boxes, lantern festivals and moon viewing activities will also be held in various places. In Malaysia, the Chinese will also appreciate the moon, eat moon cakes and go shopping with lanterns. In addition to dragon and lion dances, there will also be various wonderful performances.

In addition, countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, and Nepal also have the custom of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival. Why are the customs different in different places, but almost all are related to the moon? It may be because this festival's time is the "full moon." The moon is large and round, making people feel "complete" and "perfect." In China, on the other hand, there are Mid-Autumn Festival stories related to the moon.

Lion dances and lantern shows are common programs during the Mid-Autumn Festival. (Photo via Pixabay.com)

The origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival?

One of China's most frequently heard stories is "Hou Yi shot the sun." Legend has it that there were ten suns in ancient China, the climate was scorching, and the crops were dry. At this time, a mighty hero named "Hou Yi" sympathized with the suffering people, so he climbed the top of the Kunlun Mountains and pulled the god bow through divine power, shooting down nine suns.

Then, Hou Yi ordered the last sun to rise and set on time so that the people could live and work in peace and contentment, so he was also respected and loved by everyone. Later, Hou Yi married a beautiful wife named "Chang'e". Once, when Hou Yi went to the Kunlun Mountains to seek Tao, he met the Queen Mother of the West and asked her for the "elixir of longevity."

It is said that anyone who eats the elixir can become a god, so Hou Yi gave the elixir to Chang'e, and she hid the medicine on the dressing table. One day, when Hou Yi was out hunting, his apprentice "Fengmeng" took the opportunity to steal medicine and was discovered by Chang'e. In desperation, Chang'e swallowed the elixir and flew to the moon to become a fairy.

Hou Yi was very saddened by Chang'e's departure, looked at the sky, and called his wife's name when he found that the moon was bright and a figure like Chang'e on the moon. Hou Yi watched the moon miss his wife and put Chang'e's favorite food in the garden to sacrifice for her. After the people got the news, they worshipped Chang'e under the moon, praying for good luck and safety. Since then, the Chinese people have had the custom of worshipping the moon.

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, many countries will eat round desserts. (Photo via Unsplash.com)

This year's solar calendar, September 10th, is the Mid-Autumn Festival. How do you all celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival? Do you want to reunite with relatives and friends? Even if you don't reunite with your family, don't forget to care for them by video or phone, cherish the time you spend with each other, and hope our future will be better!

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