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🌕🎴 Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節): Moon Celebration 🌅🎑🏮🎐🥮🈷️


Fantasy Grassy Landscape by the Sea with Mountains, Full Moon and SoundEagle

🌕 Moon-Related Autumn Celebration 🎑

The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節), also known as the Moon Festival, Chinese Lantern Festival, Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, is a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. The Government of China listed the festival as an “intangible cultural heritage” in 2006, and it was made a Chinese public holiday in 2008. It is also a public holiday in Taiwan. Similar holidays have long been celebrated in numerous countries such as Japan (Tsukimi), Korea (Chuseok), Vietnam (Tết Trung Thu), and other countries in East and Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. In 2022, the festival falls on the 10th of September.

Being one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture, the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) is celebrated for one to three days, and is comparable in popularity to Chinese New Year, which is celebrated for up to fifteen days. The history of the Mid-Autumn Festival can be traced back over 3,000 years.[1][2] In accordance with its long tradition, the festival is annually held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar with a full moon at night, corresponding to mid-September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.[3] On this special day, the Chinese believe that the Moon is at its brightest and fullest, coinciding with harvest time in the middle of autumn.[4] Lanterns of assorted sizes and shapes are carried and displayed as symbolic beacons that illuminate people’s path to prosperity and good fortune. Mooncakes, made from a rich pastry typically filled with a combination of sweet beans, egg yolk(s), nuts, meat and lotus-seed paste, are traditionally consumed as a delicacy or dessert during this festival.[5][6][7] There are also plenty of specialty mooncakes to suit the tastes and palettes of gustatorily adventurous customers and connoisseurs, who are keen to savour mooncakes as novel confections made with mouth-watering ingredients.

Overall, the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) is a coveted yearly occasion for (honouring the traditions of) family reunion (家庭團聚), moon appreciation (賞月), savouring mooncakes (品嚐月餅), guessing lantern riddles (猜燈謎), worshiping the moon (拜月), praying to the moon (向月祈禱), enjoying lion dance and dragon dance (享受舞獅和舞龍), visiting and gifting relatives and friends (拜訪和饋贈親友), shopping (逛街購物), going on a short trip (短途旅行), as well as lighting, hanging up, and sauntering with bright and colourful lanterns (用明亮多彩的燈籠點亮、掛起和漫步).

The Mid-Autumn Festival is traditionally based on the legend of a moon goddess, often depicted as an incomparable beauty dressed in a long and flowing costume, sometimes holding a rabbit. It is both notionally inspiring and fittingly endearing for a beloved person to be called “My Little White Rabbit (我的小白兔)” or “My Small Jade Bunny (我的小玉兔)” as a term of endearment, for according to the Chinese folklore connected to the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節), the mythological moon rabbit (月兔) 🐇, a symbol of selflessness, piety and sacrifice, is customarily portrayed as a constant companion of the moon goddess Chang’e (嫦娥), faithfully pounding the elixir of life for her.

Moon Goddess Chang’e (嫦娥) and Little White Rabbit (小白兔) with SoundEagle

Formatted and modified by SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ, the following excerpts from Wikipedia demonstrate the citation-sequence system or the Vancouver reference style involving the use of the bracketed and superscripted sequential reference numbers and the respective numbered entries in the reference list. Hovering the mouse cursor over where any of the reference numbers appears in the text will bring up a tooltip showing the corresponding full citation. Clicking or touching the reference number does not jump to the corresponding entry in the reference list, as SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ has bypassed this step in order to send readers straight to the website concerned, for their convenience and edification. In addition, hovering over a hyperlinked text or image may bring up a tooltip displaying additional information. So, it pays to hover on any item of interest to obtain extra information.

Meanings

The festival celebrates three fundamental concepts that are closely connected:

  • Gathering, such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting crops for the festival. It is said [that] the Moon is the brightest and roundest on this day [thus signifying] family reunion. Consequently, this is the main reason [as to] why the festival is thought to be important.
  • Thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions
  • Praying (asking for conceptual or material satisfaction), such as for babies, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future

Traditions and myths surrounding the festival are formed around these concepts,[13] although traditions have changed over time due to changes in technology, science, economy, culture, and religion.[13] It’s about well being together.

Origins and development

The Chinese have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BCE).[13][14] The term mid-autumn (中秋) first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BCE).[4] As for the royal court, it was dedicated to the goddess Taiyinxingjun (太陰星君; Tàiyīn xīng jūn). This is still true for Taoism and Chinese folk religion.[15][16]

The celebration as a festival only started to gain popularity during the early Tang dynasty (唐朝) (618–907 CE).[4] One legend explains that Emperor Xuanzong of Tang started to hold formal celebrations in his palace after having explored the Moon-Palace.[13]

In the Northern Song Dynasty, the Mid Autumn Festival has become a popular folk festival, and officially designated the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar as the Mid Autumn Festival.

By the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the mid autumn festival had become one of the main folk festivals in China. The Empress Dowager Cixi (late 19th century) enjoyed celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival so much that she would spend the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of the eighth month staging elaborate rituals.[3]

English: Botanical garden, Montreal, Quebec, C...

English : Botanical garden, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Mid-autumn festival.
Français : Jardin botanique, Montréal, Québec, Canada. Fête de la mi-automne. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SoundEagle in Full Moon, Sky, Mountain and Wolf

🌕 Moon-Related Autumn Food 🥮

Mooncake (月餅) is a Chinese bakery product traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節). Mooncakes are typically offered between friends or on family gatherings while celebrating the festival, which is one of the four most important Chinese festivals. The tenet of the festival is about moon appreciation, lunar worship and moon watching, during which mooncakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy or dessert, often accompanied by fine teas and cuisines on larger or more significant occasions. Mooncakes are usually made from a rich pastry whose fillings comprise a combination of sweet beans, egg yolk(s), nuts, meat and lotus-seed paste. At Delishably!, a platform for food enthusiasts and aficionados, Ced Yong has summarized in his informative article entitled “9 Facts About Chinese Mooncakes: History, Culture, Legends” as follows:

  1. Their History Goes Back 1000+ Years
  2. There Are Many Regional Variations
  3. They Are Linked to Chang’e, Goddess of the Moon
  4. They Are Associated With Rabbits
  5. They Symbolize Reunion and Are Popular Business Gifts
  6. Mooncakes Were an Instrument of Revolution
  7. They’re Not Exactly a Health Food
  8. They Are Big Business
  9. Avant-Garde Flavors Are Popping Up

In modern and affluent societies, there now exist plenty of specialty mooncakes catering to the refined tastes and adventurous palettes of avant-garde customers and connoisseurs, who derive enormous delight in savouring mooncakes as novel confections made with delectable ingredients, not just peanut butter, jelly, custard, tiramisù, gourmet honey, milk tea, coffee, icecream, durian, honeydew dry gin, strawberry vodka, orange whiskey and yuzu sake, but also lightly spiced XO-dried scallops; strawberry and soursop puree; blueberry with vintage rice wine; chocolate brownie with melon seed; creamy coconut durian mousse mochi; Nonya sweet-meets-savoury meat filling; mango yoghurt with lime margarita truffle; butterfly pea gin with pandan and lemongrass; pistachio cream with nibs and raspberry grains; assorted nuts and seeds with roast duck; Chicken bak-kwa baked with assorted nuts; white lotus paste and charcoal black sesame paste with pine nuts; sea salt caramel with taro and shredded coconut; black truffle sea salt dark chocolate with white lotus seed paste; dark chocolate shell filled with creamy pralines and a layer of crispy feuillantine; crunchy hazelnut croquant with chocolate lotus paste and hazelnuts wrapped in a chocolate skin; beef wellington with beef tenderloin, parma ham and duxelles; or salmon wellington with salmon fillet, cream cheese spinach, mozzarella cheese and parmesan, as the following five webpages depict:

10 Unusual Mooncake Flavours To Try This Mid-Autumn Festival

Unusual mooncakes you should try for Mid-Autumn Festival 2022

17 unusual mooncake flavours you need to try this Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival 2022: Unusual Mooncakes to Try

Hong Kong’s 10 most bizarre mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival 2021, from a beef Wellington version by Phoebe’s Kitchen to Royal Caviar Club’s luxurious caviar and cream cheese filling

Nowadays, the custom of business people and families presenting mooncakes to their clients or relatives as presents has fuelled a great demand for high-end mooncakes with exquisite design and elaborate packaging, even to the point of resembling large jewellery boxes or miniature treasure chests. Some of the latest trends have resulted in not just eye-catching, stylish, collectable packaging but also specially curated, multifuctional mooncake bags, boxes, trunks, gift sets, keepsakes, rechargeable tableside lanterns, and even the world’s first Monopoly Mooncake Street Smart Edition, as the following eight webpages amply show:

These mooncakes will be the stars of every Mid-Autumn reunion this 2022

20 Best Mooncakes To Get In KL For Mid-Autumn Festival 2022

Mooncake Trends 2022: The most creative mooncake packaging and boxes

Mid-Autumn Festival 2022: A guide to the best mooncakes in KL

Mid-Autumn Festival 2022: Your ultimate guide to the prettiest mooncake boxes in KL

20 Gorgeous Mooncake Packaging Designs

Gorgeous mooncake boxes that are too pretty to throw away

月圆人团圆 2022 年月饼大全

The Yummy Moon Cakes at Golden Bakery in China...

The Yummy Moon Cakes at Golden Bakery in Chinatown, San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

SoundEagle in Full Moon, Sky, Mountain and Wolf

🌕 Moon-Related Autumn Poems 📜

As an evocative but concise vehicle frequently incorporating expressive folk influences filtered through the minds of Chinese literati, poetry has been unswervingly held in exceptionally high regard in Chinese culture since antiquity, insofar as poetry has facilitated a format and a forum for both public and private expressions of profound emotion, sentiment, contemplation, morality, philosophy and spirituality, offering a diverse audience of peers, readers and scholars vast insights into the inner sanctum and intimate life of Chinese writers unfolding via their finest penmanship across more than two millennia. To that extent, Westerners who are well-disposed to the aesthetic and literary aspects of oriental societies have discovered in Chinese poetry an engrossing and gratifying field of study via its exemplification of quintessential distinctions or defining contrasts between the occidental world and Chinese civilization, and also on its own terms and merits, so much so that Chinese poetry has bestowed considerable influence and contribution upon poetry worldwide.

Classical Chinese poetry is traditional Chinese poetry composed in Classical Chinese (also known as Literary Chinese 文言文 or 古文) and characterized by certain traditional forms, modes and genres in connection with or rooted in specific historical periods, such as the poetry of the Tang dynasty (唐朝) from 618 to 907, which is traditionally considered to be the greatest era for Chinese poetry. The map below depicts the six major protectorates during this dynasty (唐朝的六大都護府示意地圖).

Map of the six major protectorates during the Tang dynasty (唐朝的六大都護府示意地圖)

A key aspect of Classical Chinese poetry is its potent inter-relationship with other forms of Chinese art such as Chinese painting and Chinese Calligraphy (書法). An example of the latter can be demonstrated by the following poem entitled Quiet Night Thought (靜夜思), composed by the acclaimed and prolific Tang dynasty poet by the name of Li Bai (李白), also known as Li Bo, courtesy name Taibai (Chinese: 太白), and art name Qinglian Jushi (Chinese: 青蓮居士).

床前明月光 疑是地上霜 舉頭望明月 低頭思故鄉

Structured as a single quatrain in five-character regulated verse equipped with a simple AABA rhyme scheme, this famous and memorable poem alludes to the August moon and therefore the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節), which serves as a paramount festival in Chinese culture for its adherence to Chinese family values, and is traditionally associated with family reunion. In Quiet Night Thought (靜夜思), Li Bai not merely expresses his anguish and lament over the impossibility of securing the opportunity for a much overdue family reunion to strengthen his familial ties and to fulfil his filial piety when his is still on active duty as a courtier who is mandated to obey the imperial edict and to abide by the emperor’s wishes, but also stresses the importance of valuing one’s origin even if one is indefinitely precluded from reuniting with beloved family members, and tested by the long burden of enduring (the circumstance of) being deployed far from one’s hometown for extended periods as part of one’s duty and loyalty as a courtier or worthy subject to the emperor of China.

静夜思

🛌🏻 床 前 明 月 光 🌕
疑 是 地 上 霜
舉 頭 望 明 月
低 頭 思 故 鄉

The Chinese quatrain of Li Bai’s Quiet Night Thought (靜夜思) above in five-character regulated verse with an AABA rhyme scheme has been translated by SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ into an English quatrain below with an ABAB rhyme scheme and a 9-10-9-10 syllabic pattern.

Quiet Night Thought

🛌🏻 Before my bed there’s a pool of light 🌕
I wonder if it’s frost on the flooring
Raising my head I find the moon bright
Bowing my head I think of homecoming

Multilingual translations of Li Bai’s poems continue to be made in the West, so much so that his life has even taken on a legendary aspect, including tales of drunkenness, chivalry and the well-known story that he drowned as a result of reaching from his boat to grasp the moon’s reflection in the river whilst being intoxicated.

SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ has taken the liberty and pleasure of translating three more Chinese poems into English for your enjoyment.

🎴 Mid-Autumn Festival Poems🌕
🎴 中秋詩歌🌕

Translated by SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ into English

The Original in Chinese

Drinking Alone under the Moon
Li Bai

Amongst flowers with a bottle of wine, I drink alone without a companion.
Raising my chalice, I invite the bright moon, which casts me a shadow to form a triad.
The moon cannot understand my (joy of) drinking, and my shadow follows my body like a student.
Whilst temporarily accompanied by the moon and shadow, I take the opportunity to have a joyous time until the end of spring.
I sing and the moon lingers, I dance and my shadow scatters.
Rejoice together when I am sober, parting ways after I am drunk.
I share my journey with those who have no emotions, and we shall meet again under the distant sky.

月下獨酌
李白

花間一壺酒 獨酌無相親

舉杯邀明月 對影成三人

月既不解飲 影徒隨我身

暫伴月將影 行樂須及春

我歌月徘徊 我舞影零亂

醒時同交歡 醉後各分散

永結無情遊 相期邈雲漢

Water Melody
Su Shi

When will the moon be bright and clear?
I raise my cup of wine and ask the clear sky
One does not know in those celestial palaces
What year it is this evening
I wish to ride the wind to return home
Yet dread those crystal towers and jade courts
In those high dwellings one cannot bear the cold
Dancing with my clear (moonlit) shadow
It does not seem to be the human world

Revolving around the vermillion pavilion
Stooping to reach towards the silk-pad doors
The moon shines upon the sleepless
It should not bear resentment
Yet why does it tend to be full and bright when people are apart?
As people have sorrows and joys, partings and reunions
So too the moon has its bright, dim, waxing and waning phases
Such matters of imperfection have remained unresolved since the ancient times
May we all be blessed with longevity
Though thousands of miles apart, we are still able to share the beauty of the moon together

水調歌頭
蘇軾

明月幾時有
把酒問青天
不知天上宮闕
今夕是何年
我欲乘風歸去
又恐瓊樓玉宇
高處不勝寒
起舞弄清影
何似在人間

轉朱閣
低綺戶
照無眠
不應有恨
何事長向別時圓
人有悲歡離合
月有陰晴圓缺
此事古難全
但願人長久
千里共嬋娟

Sun Pass Song
Mid-Autumn Moon
Su Shi

The clouds at dusk were cleaned up by the wind, and the cold chill gradually overflowed.
The Milky Way flowed silently, and the white jade disc-like full moon gradually shifted.
It is rare for me to experience such a beautiful night in my life.
At this time next year, where shall I watch this round of bright moon?

陽關曲
中秋月
蘇軾

暮雲收盡溢清寒

銀漢無聲轉玉盤

此生此夜不長好

明月明年何處看

SoundEagle in Full Moon, Sky, Mountain and Wolf

🌕 Moon-Related Autumn Videos 📹

Mid-Autumn Festival Gala

整段:2022年中央广播电视总台中秋晚会
2022 Mid-Autumn Festival Gala丨CCTV春晚

《2021年中央广播电视总台中秋晚会》
2021 Mid-Autumn Festival Gala丨CCTV春晚

2021年中秋赏月歌单(萨顶顶、周深、刘宇宁、郁可唯、陈坤、张翰、李健、邢天溯、齐秦、萨顶顶、云朵)适合中秋节听的歌曲!超好听的月亮歌曲串烧![让生活充满音乐] | 中国音乐电视 Music TV

32 comments on “🌕🎴 Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節): Moon Celebration 🌅🎑🏮🎐🥮🈷️

  1. ೋღஜஇ Notes இஜღೋ

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    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow. Very fascinating and interesting.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Such an interesting post with a lot to come back and explore! Wow – and the video recipes are so culture rich
    😊☀️

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 太好了, 谢谢! 中秋节快乐!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for the introduction to this celebration! I wish we lived in a place where this occurred. The food looks fabulous!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This reminds me of the Moonies
    (a cult of (some would say) loonies,
    But your moon is much more sane,
    Whether on the rise or on the wane.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Wow, this is so cool. Thank you for this introduction, and Happy Mid-Autumn Festival. ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Another awesome beautiful creation, SoundEagle. Thank you so very much!
    I was glad to see the picture from The Botanical Gardens of Montreal, the City of my Birth and my lifestyle BC.

    For the last couple of nights looking up to the night sky from the CanaDa’s Capital, I took note the Moon looked unusually fuller and rounder, Bright but not White.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Well done Sound Eagle,

    I haven’t finished the article entirely my friend.
    Though as you know, I have read enough to know that I had to include you in the random links of the day addition of my blog about the Harvest Moon. This is such amazing explosion of knowledge that I can only liken it to candy for the brain and the eyes. I feel like I have been intellectually fed. Which is a rarity these days.

    As usual you never disappoint. I wanted to share with you some experiences I have had with Chang’e. I worship many Gods and Goddesses across the spectrum. Even if I am not from a particular culture or belief. I make friendships with Deities.

    I have always been fascinated by the Moon and the Stars. So when I learned of Chang’e and her Lunar Rabbit the first time, I was hooked. I immediately added her to my services for the Moon Gods. As well as the Hunter who is her Husband and the Hare.

    Well, I gave special breads and cookies and sometimes fresh milk as a libation. She helped me with prosperity (which now reading your post makes a lot of sense). Stability, and also just protection in general. I have never felt alone when she was there. For some odd reason after making offerings to her, I started randomly bumping into online articles mentioning her.

    Even if I was searching for something non-moon related. It’s been a while since I gave her a proper offering. And since I prayed to her. I think I will do this again to re-acquaint myself with an old friend. Thank you so much Sound Eagle,

    – M

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Thank you so much for enlightening me about Mid-Autumn Festival, SoundEagle! I learned a great deal about Chinese culture. Now I am eager to discover and eat mooncakes!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sjoe… wat ‘n mondvol! Interessante inligting.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Beautiful, informative, and appealing in so many ways. Thank you! Hugs, C

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Well created, beautiful art and hihly informative. I’d like a moonfestival in our country.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Wow What a Feast for the eyes you have created here on this the first menu link of Celebration I clicked…. Amazing information … Well the Moon certainly has had many changes and Eclipse’s and Powerful attributes this year for certain SE…
    Many thanks for this.. Lots more to explore I know ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Che bel post!
    E quante prelibatezze 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I know these festivals as my father is a Chinese, and grew up with some of the traditions. I’m just curious… Are you a Chinese?

    Liked by 2 people

  17. what a feast for the eyes and ears SoundEagle! 💖

    Liked by 3 people

  18. […] Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節), also known as the Moon Festival, Chinese Lantern Festival, Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, […]

    Like

  19. […] 🌕🎴 Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節): Moon Celebration 🌅🎑🏮🎐🥮🈷️ (soundeagle.wordpress.com) […]

    Like

  20. Loved the Poem link to the Mid Autumn festival SE… so many wonderful poems and amazing colourful graphics along with some great video’s also containing fantastic magical graphics…
    Also dear SE.. Many thanks again for your own lovely reply to my own post and I still have much, much more to explore, via your other menu links…
    You are one talented skilled designer, writer and musician..
    Many thanks for the gifts you share ❤ 🙏✨

    Liked by 2 people

  21. WOW WOW WOW!!!!!! Happy Mid Autumn Festival!!! I watched the video with the lanterns…..it’s astoundingly beautiful!!! Thank You for sharing all of this!!! Cheers and hugs! 🤗❤️😊

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I might have a moon festival tonight! I hope it’s still a good time for one.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Sound Eagle, another tour de force. I don’t know where you find the time for such productions.
    You are welcome to email me your favourite moon cakes.
    Only, I have a problem. This is the “mid-autumn” festival, but hey, it is mid-spring!

    Liked by 3 people

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