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History behind Chinese Moon Festival

Appreciating the moon is an ancient tradition in the Chinese Culture with a good story behind it.

Between August and September the moon appears much larger and very close to earth and China has a big Chinese Moon Festival where family and friends gather to witness and celebrate the moon.

Celebrating the Chinese Moon Festival is a custom practised by all civilians; rich merchants and commoners. The common citizens pray for good harvest for the year coming while the rich merchants hold parties with music, food and drinks in appreciation of the Chinese Moon.

The tradition dates back to the early Tang Dynasty where it was celebrated as a traditional festival. It became an established festival during the Song Dynastym(960–1279), where it became the second most popular Chinese festival, coming second to the Spring Festival.

Eating Moon Cakes are an import part of the Chinese Moon Festival which began in the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongols ruled (1271-1368). The Han people wanted to overthrow the Mongols and so the military devised a good strategy to pass word that there would be an uprising.

The military army, spread word that there would be a disease in winter and that eating mooncakes was the only way to cure this disease. The soldiers then wrote “uprising, at the night of Mid-Autumn Festival” on slips of paper and put them into the mooncakes. The mooncakes were then sold to the Han people and thus the Mongols were overthrown the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival.

From that day on people ate mooncakes in commemoration of the uprising, however many people have little knowledge of this today.

Sacrificial offerings are given during the Mid-Autumn Festival which includes apples, grapes, plums and incense. Mooncakes and watermelons are the most essential.

There are plenty of myths associated with the Chinese Moon Festivals, but whether true or not; it is a good festive and celebratory season which brings the People of China together.

 

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