The Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinese “Jung Chau Jeet” 中秋節 also known as the Moon Festival, is a holiday popular in China and Vietnam, which celebrates:
- Family Reunion
- Thankfulness / Gratitude
- Farmers’ Harvest
Sometimes it is called Chinese Thanksgiving!
One of the most popular folklore tale of the Moon Festival, is the story of Chang’e and Hou Yi.
The Story of Chang’e and Hou Yi
Once there were 10 suns in the sky, scorching many crops and killing many people. Archer Hou Yi shot down 9/10 of the suns, and became a well-known hero for his good deeds he performed for Earth. Awarded the Elixir of Immortality, and became a teacher of archery with many disciples training under him.
Hou Yi met a woman named Chang E, and they fell in love and were married.
Wanting to be with his wife forever, he had her save the Elixir of Immortality for them to drink together on the 15th Day of the 8th Lunar Month. But an evil disciple named Peng Meng overheard them and wanted the elixir for himself.
On the 15th day, when Hou Yi went hunting, Peng Meng went to Hou Yi’s home and forced Chang E to give him the elixir. Knowing she could not defeat him, she drank the elixir all by herself. When Hou Yi came back, he found that his wife had been lifted to Heaven as the Moon Goddess. She decided to live on the Moon because it’s closest to the Earth and her husband. Hou Yi looked up at the moon and put the foods Chang E used to love in the garden as a sacrifice.
And thus, people started admiring the moon on this day! This October 4th, on the Mid-Autumn Festival, in the harvest season – the moon is supposed to be its roundest and brightest!
Thanks to chinaculturetour.com and beijing-kids.com for the story reference!
Now we will talk about traditional foods eaten during the Moon Festival, because a harvest holiday is not complete without FOOD, right?
A pastry made with traditionally with lotus seed paste and egg yolk – they symbolize family reunions and best wishes. It is the most traditional and important food of the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Historically they were used to write secret messages to each other during the war in the Yuan dynasty. The hidden message was written on the piece of paper inside the cake.
Today, cake is often exchanged as a gift between family and friends during the festival to convey their best wishes. This is why they come in beautiful gift boxes!
Gai Lan 芥蘭 – Chinese Broccoli
A Holiday with Health in Mind…
Top 10 Mid-Autumn Festival Foods in China from www.globaltimes.cn.
Why are. pomelo fruits eaten during Moon Festival? from asianinspirations.com
Watch the interview below on The Mid-Autumn Festival
That festival looks so cool and I love the sweet secrecy that was done through the mooncakes. That would have been totally unexpected and completely genius!
Thank you Danielle, this is the nicest comment I could ever receive!