Tuesday, September 25, 2007

.: Mid Autumn Festival :.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a popular Asian celebration of abundance and togetherness, dating back over 3,000 years to China's Zhou Dynasty. In Malaysia and Singapore, it is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival, similar in name to a different festival which falls on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year).

The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (usually around mid- or late-September in the Gregorian calendar - it falls on the 25th of this month *which is TODAY!*), a date that parallels the Autumn Equinox of the solar calendar.

This is the ideal time, when the moon is at its fullest and brightest, to celebrate the abundance of the summer's harvest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two most important holidays in the Chinese calendar (the other being the Chinese Lunar New Year), and is a legal holiday in several countries (sadly, not in Malaysia).

Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally, on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomeloes together.

Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as:

- Eating moon cakes outside under the moon
- Putting pomelo rinds on one's head
- Carrying brightly lit lanterns
- Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e
- Planting Mid-Autumn trees
- Lighting lanterns on towers
- Fire Dragon Dances

I haven't done any of those not in bold (or even seen anyone doing it), but in Malaysia, it's a norm to see your neigbourhood brightly lit with latterns (both paper and plastic), laughters of little childrens, adults sitting in a corner busy chattering, sharing a variety of mooncakes...

And this year, I manage to lit my very own lattern that JC bought for me.

Hello Hello Kitty!

A Hello Kitty plastic lattern (he couldn't find a Pooh Bear one)....

My lil lattern sitting on the bench at my playground

We walk along the playground behind my house, carrying that lil lattern. I had so so so much fun.

Me carrying my tanglong

Me again, having so much fun!

JC with tanglong

I'm just so happy! :)

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