The Origin of Mid-Autumn Festival

October 16,2023.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is one of the most important traditional Chinese festivals. It falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, when the moon is believed to be at its fullest and brightest.

The origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival dates back thousands of years and is deeply rooted in Chinese mythology and folklore. According to one popular legend, the festival commemorates the heroic figure Chang'e, the Moon Goddess.

Legend has it that in ancient times, there were ten suns in the sky, scorching the earth and causing widespread suffering. A hero named Hou Yi, known for his exceptional archery skills, shot down nine of the suns, saving the people from the unbearable heat. As a reward, he was given the elixir of immortality.

However, Hou Yi did not consume the elixir himself. Instead, he entrusted it to his wife, Chang'e, for safekeeping. One day, while Hou Yi was away, a wicked apprentice tried to steal the elixir from Chang'e. To protect it, she swallowed the elixir and ascended to the moon, becoming the Moon Goddess.

On the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the day Chang'e swallowed the elixir and flew to the moon, people gather to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by offering sacrifices to the Moon Goddess and enjoying mooncakes, a traditional delicacy. Mooncakes, round pastries stuffed with various fillings, symbolize unity and reunion, as the round shape represents the full, bright moon and family togetherness.

Today, the Mid-Autumn Festival is not only a time for family reunions but also a celebration of love and gratitude. Families come together to appreciate the beauty of the moon, share mooncakes, light lanterns, and enjoy traditional performances and activities such as dragon and lion dances.

The Mid-Autumn Festival holds a special place in Chinese culture, as it serves as a reminder of the importance of family, love, and unity. It is an occasion to express gratitude and extend wishes for happiness, health, and prosperity.

In summary, the Mid-Autumn Festival originated from the legendary story of Chang'e, the Moon Goddess, and has become a cherished festival celebrating family, unity, and the beauty of the full moon.

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