The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, is a festival hosted on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. This festival is the second-most important event in China and has become a family holiday like Thanksgiving. We at DORÉ by LeTAO would like to share the history behind this meaningful holiday.
The Mid-Autumn Festival was traditionally celebrated by worshipping the moon, thanking the moon goddess for the year’s harvest and praying for a better one the coming year. This began when a Chinese archer, Hou Yi was tasked with shooting 9 of the 10 suns that were scorching and killing crops and people alike.
Once successful, Hou Yi was rewarded with the elixir of life, which would grant him and his wife Chang’e eternal life if drunk together. However, the archer’s apprentice Feng Meng, wanted immortality for himself and tried stealing it from Chang’e. Realizing she couldn’t defeat him herself; she drank the elixir herself and ascended to the moon.
Since then, Hou Yi would always put her favorite food out in the garden in remembrance of her and as a token of gratitude. This was the start of many moon worships to come. The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated by hosting family gatherings, eating mooncakes, and releasing flying lanterns.
In other countries, ancient traditions are still preserved such as fire dragon dancing, sweeping ancestor tombs, and eating sticky rice balls while admiring the moon. Nowadays, the festival is a symbol of happiness, gratitude, family bonding, and is a great way for those celebrating to relax and have a good time while praying for good fortune.
This is the history behind The Mid-Autumn Festival.
Have you heard of it before? Which part of it most interests you?
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