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中秋节 The Mid-Autumn Day

05-24-2010 15:59 BJT

The Mid-Autumn Day is on the August 15th of the lunar calendar.

The fifteenth of each month in the lunar calendar is the day of the full moon.

Mid-Autumn Day falls during the autumn equinox.

During this time, the days are especially bright and crisp and the sky is very clear, which makes it the perfect time to appreciate the moon’s beauty.

The Chinese people, especially the poets, have a special emotion for the moon.

The affections they hold may surpass those of any other nations in the world, forming a special moon sentiment.

The sight of the moon can affect their emotions, and arouse their hopes and dreams for the future.

The full moon on the Mid-Autumn Day reminds people of their families and triggers their longing for a family reunion.

It is for sure a time for people to come home to see their parents and relatives.

And those who can not make it home would call to send a regards.

During this full moon holiday, sacrificial offerings and moon-gazing are essential customs.

On the night of the Mid-Autumn Day, people have fruits and moon cakes, the most round food is offered to the moon, while the rest is for the family to enjoy as they appreciate the moon’s beauty.

Originally the moon cake was used only for sacrificial offerings during the Moon Ceremony.

Later it gradually became a symbolic food of the Moon Festival.

It resembles the full moon on the night of the Mid-Autumn Day, representing reunion.

After the entire family offers a sacrificial slice to the moon, they cut the rest in slices on the number of members of the family, including those family members who did not make it to the gathering.

The first slice of the moon cake must be given to the most elderly of the family.

Like the other Chinese holidays, the Mid-Autumn Day has its own stories.

Among them “Chang’E and the Moon” is the most well known.

There lived a beautiful goddess named Chang’E in a very beautiful but cold palace on the moon.

In the palace, a jade hare accompanies her.

And outside the palace, there was a sweet-scented osmanthus tree and a lumberjack called Wu Gang.

If you look carefully at the moon on the mid autumn night, you might see the shadows of the figures in the story!

Besides sacrificial offerings and moon appreciation, different parts of China have different customs and activities for this festival.

In the north, there is a toy called “the rabbit master” which is popular among children.

It is an adaptation of the jade hare on the moon.

In the South, people hollow out the pomelo to make exquisite lanterns.

They light candles inside to make a favorite mid-autumn season toy.

In Guangdong and Hong Kong, people attend performances of mid-autumn dance “Fire Dragon”.

Incenses are lit and inserted along the fire dragon’s body to symbolize longevity, and to radiate brightness in the dark night.

In Zhejiang, besides watching the moon on the Mid-Autumn Day, people also watch the annual natural spectacle caused by the gravity of the moon, —“Qiantang River Tide”.

For some minority groups in China, the Mid-Autumn Day is a time for the youths to flirt by singing songs to each other.

May the people live forever, and share the moon shine across vast distances together.

How to make a moon cake

Now, let’s learn how to make a moon cake.

First, we need to make some syrup and flour, and then at the spoon of alkali.

Then we put in some vegetable oil and slowly mix them well.

After the dough is ready form it into the long strip and then divide into portions, they are each three centimeters long.

Then we cut this special flavor into small dices and we can also add some dry food as the sweet stuffing.

Pour some flour on the cutting board, put those small portions of dough we have prepared on the cutting board, and press them flat with your hands.

Then we put the stuffing in the middle of the dough and make the dough into a ball and then we put the dough with stuffing into the mould, pressing the mould flat with hands, knock the mould slightly and the dough in the shape of moon will come out, and now is ready to put in the oven to bake.


Editor:Shi Taoyang |Source:

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