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我是新加坡华裔后代, 先父早期是从广东潮阳到东南亚一带发展事业,所以从小就一直在新加坡受教育。当时是新加坡公民。。过后就飞往了美国洛杉矶加利福尼亚洲大学深造。毕业后就留在美国就业,也就成为了美国公民。就业期间,曾经任职於中国国际航空公司-洛杉矶省航空物流销售经理,中国南方航空公司-洛杉矶省航空物流销售经理,中国东方航空公司-洛杉矶省航空地勤代理,美国长青国际航空公司-洛杉矶省航空物流销售经理,也乘就职于荷兰航空公司-洛杉矶省属下子公司(亚洲区域物流经理)。本人自小喜爱集邮及摄影,直到今天还是很活跃。

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Mid-Autumn Festival- The Moon Festival  

2013-09-16 22:02:09|  分类: Mid-Autumn Festi |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Mid-Autumn Festival- The Moon Festival - vincent-lax - 连应豪(金扬)Vincent的博客
 

The joyous Mid-Autumn Festival, the third and last festival for the living, was celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon, around the time of the autumn equinox. Many referred to it simply as the "Fifteenth of the Eighth Moon".

The Moon festival (also called the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn festival) falls on September 19th in 2013. Every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year, the Chinese celebrate "zhong qiu jie."

The Moon Festival dates back over 3,000 years, to moon worshiping in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC). Ancient Chinese emperors worshiped the moon in the autumn, as they believed that the practice would bring them a plentiful harvest the next year.

The word “mid-autumn” first appeared in the Zhou Dynasty. During that time, worshiping the moon on the 15th night of the eighth month had spread to high officials and rich families. The practice entailed placing a large table in the middle of the yard under the moon, and they put offerings such as fruits and snacks on the table. 

 

The custom of offering sacrifices to the moon originates from worshiping the lunar goddess, and it was recorded that kings offered sacrifices to the moon in fall during the Western Zhou Dynasty (1045–770 BC). Sacrificing to the moon was very popular in the Song Dynasty, and has become a custom ever since.

The sacrificial offerings include moon cakes, watermelons (pomelos in South China), apples, plums, grapes, and incense, of which moon cakes and watermelons (pomelos in the south) are essential. The watermelon’s (pomelo's) skin is sometimes sliced and opened up into a lotus shape when offered as a sacrifice.

 

Appreciating the Moon

Appreciating the moon has been a custom since the Tang Dynasty(618–907). Not only the rich merchants and officials, but also the common citizens, began appreciating the moon together at that time. The rich merchants and officials held big parties in their big courts. They drank and appreciated the bright moon. Music and dances were also indispensable. The common citizens just prayed to the moon for a good harvest.

In the early Tang Dynasty the day was officially celebrated as a traditional festival. It then became an established festival during the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), and has become as popular as the Spring Festival since the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1368 - 1644) dynasties.

 

The Stories of the Chinese Mid Autumn Festival

I. The Lady - Chang Er

The time of this story is around 2170 B.C. The earth once had ten suns circling over it, each took its turn to illuminate to the earth. But one day all ten suns appeared together, scorching the earth with their heat. The earth was saved by a strong and tyrannical archer Hou Yi. He succeeded in shooting down nine of the suns. The weather immediately turned cooler. Heavy rains filled the rivers with fresh water and the grass and trees turned green. Life had been restored and humanity was saved.

One day, a charming young woman, Chang'e makes her way home from a stream, holding a bamboo contaiver, A young man comes forward, asking for a drink. When she sees the red bow and white arrows hanging from his belt, Chang'e realizes that he is their savior, Hou Yi. Inviting him to drink, Chang'e plucks a beautiful flower and gives it to him as a token of respect. Hou Yi, in turn, selects a beautiful silver fox fur as his gift for her. This meeting kindles the spark of their love. And soon after that, they get married.

A mortal's life is limited, of course. So in order to enjoy his happy life with Chang'e forever, Hou Yi decides to look for an elixir of life. He goes to the Kunlun Mountains where the Western Queen Mother lives.

Out of respect for the good deeds the has done, the Western Queen Mother rewards Hou Yi with elixir, a fine powder made from kerndls of fruit which grows on the tree of eternity. At the same time, she tells him: If you and your wife share the elixir, you will both enjoy eternal life. But if only one of you takes it,that one will ascend to Heaven and become immortal.

 Hou Yi returns home and tells his wife all that has happened and they decide to drink the elixir together on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month when the moon is full and bright.

A wicked and merciless man named Feng Meng secretly hears about their plan. He wishes  he can drink the elixir himeslf and become immortal. His opportunity finally arrives. One day, when the full moon is rising, Hou Yi is on his way for hunting. Feng Meng then runs to Hou Yi's home and forces Chang'e to give him the elixir, Without hesitating, Chang'e picks up the elixir and drinks it all. Soon the elixir begins to have its effect and Chang'e feels herself being lifted towards Heaven.
Chang'e decides to live on the moon because it is nearest to the earth. There she lives a simple and contented life. Even though she is in Heaven, her heart remains in the world of mortals. Never does she forget the deep love she has for Hou Yi and the love she feels for the people who have shared their sadness and happiness.

II. The Man - Wu Kang

Wu Kang was a shiftless fellow who changed apprenticeships all the time. One day he decided that he wanted to be an immortal. Wu Kang then went to live in the mountains where he importuned an immortal to teach him. First the immortal taught him about the herbs used to cure sickness, but after three days his characteristic restlessness returned and he asked the immortal to teach him something else. So the immortal to teach him chess, but after a short while Wu Kang's enthusiasm again waned. Then Wu Kang was given the books of immortality to study. Of course, Wu Kang became bored within a few days, and asked if they could travel to some new and exciting place. Angered with Wu Kang's impatience, the master banished Wu Kang to the Moon Palace telling him that he must cut down a huge cassia tree before he could return to earth. Though Wu Kang chopped day and night, the magical tree restored itself with each blow, and thus he is up there chopping still.

 

III. The Cake - Moon Cake

During the Yuan dynasty (A.D.1280-1368) China was ruled by the Mongolian people. Leaders from the preceding Sung dynasty (A.D.960-1280) were unhappy at submitting to foreign rule, and set how to coordinate the rebellion without it being discovered. The leaders of the rebellion, knowing that the Moon Festival was drawing near, ordered the making of special cakes. Backed into each moon cake was a message with the outline of the attack. On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming dynasty (A.D. 1368-1644). Today, moon cakes are eaten to commemorate this legend.

 

For generations, moon cakes have been made with sweet fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates, wrapped in a pastry. Sometimes a cooked egg yolk can be found in the middle of the rich tasting dessert. People compare moon cakes to the plum pudding and fruit cakes which are served in the English holiday seasons.
Nowadays, there are hundreds varieties of moon cakes on sale a month before the arrival of Moon Festival.

Different Celebrated Forms

For thousands of years, the Chinese people have related the vicissitudes of life to changes of the moon as it waxes and wanes; joy and sorrow, parting and reunion. Because the full moon is round and symbolizes reunion, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the festival of reunion. All family members try to get together on this special day. Those who can not return home watch the bright moonlight and feel deep longing for their loved ones.

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