Asia celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival

Asia celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival
Autumn in China
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On October 3 this year is the fifteenth day of the eighth month according to Chinese calendar. And on that day will start one of the most poetic celebrations in Asia - Zhongqiu or Mid-Autumn Festival. This holiday is celebrated not only in China but also in Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia, as well as in many other Asian countries. By its significance and popularity the Mid-Autumn Festival is second after the New Year. The main attributes of Zhongqiu are paper lanterns of all sizes and colorings (that is why the holiday is also called the Lantern Festival), and special yuebin "moon spice cakes", which are the main fare of the day. According to the opinion of East Asia residents on the fifteenth day of the eighth month the lunar disk is the most round and bright during the entire year. So the night and the evening of the feast should be devoted to admiring the moon and the sublime thought. Mid-Autumn Festival is a family holiday, when the whole family is gathering to treat each other by yuebins and decorate their homes with bright paper lanterns, sometimes on a table are all sorts of fruits, the chief among which is a watermelon cut in the form of a lotus flower.

The tradition of celebrating Zhongqiu appeared in China in the 6th century BC, and its origin is associated with a legend. According to it Chan-E, a wife of a brave hunter Hou I drank the elixir of immortality, which was given to the hunter for a heroic act by the goddess Sivanmu, the Lady of the West. At the same instant, her body covered the incredible easiness, and she soared into the air. She flew all the time up until she finally got to the moon. So Chan-E became the goddess of the moon, where she spends time with the lunar hare, the shadow of which can be seen while looking at the moon in the Mid-Autumn Festival.

In different parts of China, as well as in different countries, there are some peculiarities in celebration of Zhongqiu. For example, in Hong Kong, despite that it is a "family" holiday, the main activity is accompanied by grandiose folk festivals and in the southern regions of China, along with yuebins the mandatory attribute of the holiday is pamela, as a symbol of the moon, the slices of which should be equally divided among all family members.

Date: 21/09/2009


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