Mid Autumn Festival is celebrated in many East Asian communities. It is an important reunion time for families. The Mid Autumn Festival is also called the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival. It traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. The Mid Autumn Festival is the second most important festival in China after Chinese New Year. Chinese people celebrate it by gathering for dinners and lighting paper lanterns. This year Mid Autumn Festival will be celebrated from the 1st to the 4th of Oct.
The ancient event is held to celebrate family while giving back thanks to crop harvests and it's spirit lives on. Today the family theme of the festival is still widely observed throughout Hong Kong. Children can be seen holding lanterns and consuming mooncakes with their loved ones.
In the city of HK the following day after Mid Autumn is a public holiday. There is a story about Mid Autumn Festival is quite interesting. The central legend associated with Mid-Autumn Festival concerns the goddess Chang’e. This tale continues to tell how long long time ago, the Earth had 10 suns, the heat of which ravaged the world with a terrible drought.
In Pic: the fable behind the Mid Autumn Festival
At the request of the Emperor of Heaven, the great archer Hou Yi shot down nine of the suns, saving life on Earth. As a reward for this feat, Hou Yi was given the elixir of immortality, which he hid in his home, planning to share it with his beautiful wife, Chang’e.
But while Hou Yi was away hunting, his wicked apprentice, Feng Meng, came to his home to steal the elixir. Chang’e, determined to keep it out of Feng’s hands, drank the potion and ascended to the heavens, where she took the moon as her home.
It is said that, to this day, those who look hard enough can see Chang’e’s likeness in the moon.
The cultural program during the Mid Autumn Festival varies from year to year includes kung fu demonstrations, folk songs and dance shows, acrobatics, and a variety of entertainment. The Fire Dragon Dance is a main part of the Mid-Autumn celebrations.
In Pic: Chinese Opera performance during the festival\
Children are taught in schools how to make lanterns but most years parents tend to buy it for them as it is more convenient for the little ones.
In Pic: The colorful lanterns during MAF. Yoyo Lau
One unique feature of the Mid Autumn Festival celebration is the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance where up to three hundred performers carry an incense straw dragon. The dance's origin was from the Tai Hang community back in the early 19th century in which the villagers held the ancient event to drive away bad luck from the area. It has lived on for more than a century now and still happens till today. This is the story of the Mid Autumn Festival.
Do try the wonderful mooncakes and please enjoy the holiday with your loved ones, relatives and children.
Stay safe everyone and have a great Mid Autumn Festival!
In Pic: The Moon Cakes are a must during the Festival.