Monday, 8 September 2014

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

According to the Chinese Calendar, today is 15th day of the 8th month. So, it's Mid-Autumn festival!

We used to have a huge celebration when I was younger and the extended family was living together, but now, with most of us grown up and living in separate houses, it's a much smaller affair.

All my brother and I did today was to go to the library and buy a lantern for the night.

Children's section of the Central Library
I read about the eco-treehouse a while back, and it's so cool to finally be able to see it! It's a pretty good place to sit and read (all I wish for are some cushions, but that isn't very practical)

My brother chose a seal lantern this year^^

It's so cute!
The bro playing :D 
 From what I know, the mid-autumn festival is about Chang-e and Houyi. Houyi was a super talented archer. One day, all ten suns came out to play and scorched the earth. So Houyi shot down nine of the suns and saved the world.

From there, the legend differs. One version says that after he shot down the suns, Houyi received a pill for immortality. However, he didn't want to leave Chang-e, and so, didn't take it. However, one day, a disciple of his betrayed him and tried to grab the pill for himself. Chang-e refused to let him have it, and ended up eating it. So, she ascended to the moon, taking with her only a rabbit.

The other story has Houyi becoming a mean and vicious king. And Chang-e eats the pill of immortality before he can eat it, and ascends to the moon, taking the rabbit with her.

Personally, I prefer the first version, because when I was younger, I watched a drama of the first version starring Fann Wong and Christopher Lee. Plus, it's nice to imagine that Houyi didn't turn evil.

In both cases, Chang-e only takes the pill to save others. She basically condemns herself to a life of loneliness. The rabbit is either pounding medicine (for the pill) or making mochi, depending on which version you hear.

And of course, we also eat mooncakes:

Snowskin mooncake. There's also baked mooncakes and many others.
From what I've heard, mooncakes were the way the Han Chinese rebelled against the Mongolians a long long time ago. They would smuggle the messages in the mooncakes, then eat the mooncakse, destroying the evidence. That's why in modern day mooncakes, we have an egg yolk in them.

Hope everyone has had a great Mid-Autumn Festival, and a good start to the week!

ETA: I forgot to share! Chinatown has been decorated for the Mid-Autumn Festival! So here are some photos that I took:


You can totally tell this picture was edited

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