For centuries, the Moon plays a big part in everyone’s life. We use the Moon to set our calendars, farmers to decide of their farming plans, and many stories and legends are formed around the faithful satellite of our mother Earth. Recently passed, was a Chinese traditional festival in celebration of the Moon – The Mid Autumn Festival.
A dying tradition, sadly to say – is the ritual of praying to the Moon Goddess also known as Chang Er or Luna. Luckily my grandmother still holds the ritual every year.
The usual offerings are as shown, peanuts, water chestnuts, some fruits and a large pomelo, and mooncakes. Paired with a cup of Chinese tea, savouring the food while basking in the full moon….Truly a delight.
Mid-Autumn festival will not be complete without Lanterns and Candles! I myself had taken a liking to lanterns although for the adults it’s something for children though : ) The lanterns can be made of paper or plastic, light up a candle in it and you’re ready to go~
Did i mention that our college also held a Mid-Autumn celebration? Organized by the Chinese cultural society, this was a celebration with a modern twist with telematch games, karaoke and loads of fun! And this was a nice experience for people who had not experienced this festival before, especially the horror on their faces when their lanterns catch fire :D
To end this post, a favourite Chinese poem of mine usually associated with this festival –
When will the moon be clear and bright?
With a cup of wine in my hand, I ask the blue sky.
I don't know what season it would be in the heavens on this night.
I'd like to ride the wind to fly home.
Yet I fear the crystal and jade mansions are much too high and cold for me.
Dancing with my moon-lit shadow
It does not seem like the human world
The moon rounds the red mansion Stoops to silk-pad doors
Shines upon the sleepless Bearing no grudge
Why does the moon tend to be full when people are apart?
People may have sorrow or joy, be near or far apart
The moon may be dim or bright, wax or wane
This has been going on since the beginning of time
May we all be blessed with longevity Though far apart, we are still able to share the beauty of the moon together.