Moon Cake Festival

      There are many Chinese Legends during the olden days when our present scientific technologies are still not available. Thus, many stories were created, told and celebrated in different festivals. Like any other cultures, food and drinks plus gifts are part of these celebrations. For every Chinese Legend, there are always moral principles and lessons to be learned from it.

      Our first Mid Autumn Moon Cake Festival was celebrated on Sept 9, 2008. Here are some of the pictures for our audience to enjoy. The Chinese Legends for this festival are just below these pictures.


   
    Mid Autumn Moon Cake Festival

   
    Mid Autumn Moon Cake Festival

   
    Mid Autumn Moon Cake Festival

   
    The thoughts of Silent Night from Lee Bai

   
    Mid Autumn Moon Cake Festival

   
    Mid Autumn Moon Cake Festival

   The story of Chang Er

      According to a Chinese Legend during the period of 2170 B.C, our earth once had ten suns circling over it. Each sun took its turn to illuminate our earth. However, one day all ten suns appeared together and scorched their energies on our planet. The crops died and famines spread across the planet. Farmers could not find sufficient water to irrigate their crops.

      A man named “Hou Yi” came to the rescue. Hou Yi is an excellent archer. He decided to save our planet from these suns. He climbed to the tallest mountain in the World and aimed his arrows towards the 1st sun. He shot nine of the suns and left one standing.

      The people cheered and life was back to normal. For Hou Yi’s good deeds, the people crowned Hou Yi the new Emperor. As time passes, Hou Yi became evil and corrupted. He treated his people badly. Hou Yi wanted to become an eternal King and looked for the medicine that would let him become immortal.

      On the other side of a coin, Hou Yi had a beautiful wife name “Chang Er”. She was a gentle and kind lady. She wanted to save her people from the cruel tyrannical rule of her husband. Thus, she quietly stole the immortal medicine and drank all of the medicine. She began to float and went towards the beautiful moon. The Emperor missed her wife and he became a broken man. Hou Yi loved his wife so much that he did not shoot down the moon. According to this legend, you can still see “Chang Er” dancing on the moon every time where there is a full moon especially during Mid Autumn Moon Cake Festival.

      The Moon Cake
      China was ruled by the Mongolian empire during the Yuan dynasty (A.D.1280-1368). Leaders and rebels from the previous Sung dynasty (A.D.960-1280) were dissatisfied and not pleased at submitting to foreign Mongolian rule. Thus, they needed to put out new strategies to co-ordinate the rebellion and overthrow the Yuan Dynasty without these strategies being discovered.

      Since the Moon Festival was celebrated across China, these rebels told the public that there would be a plaque in the near future and convince the public to buy Moon Cakes. The public had to eat these Moon Cakes on Mid-Autumn Moon Festival so that they would be immune to the plaque. Baked into these moon cakes was a message with the outline of the rebellion attack. On the night of the Moon Festival, the Mongolian Empire or the Yuan Dynasty was overthrown by the rebels. The Ming Dynasty (AD 1368 to 1644) was formed. Today, moon cakes are eaten to commemorate this part of the Chinese History.

      The thoughts of Silent Night by Lee Bai
      (English Translations)
         The bright rays from the moon reflected in front of my bed
         The reflection looks like frost on the ground
         I slowly raise my head and look at our beautiful moon
         I lower my head and think about Home.

      Explanations on The thoughts of Silent Night by Lee Bai
      Lee Bai was amazed by the bright reflections on the ground just in front of his bed.
      He thought it was cold white frost. When he came close to this reflection,
      Lee Bai realized that the bright reflection was from the moon.
      He looked at this beautiful moon and thought about his home.
      The traditional Chinese Culture has very strong families ties and bonds.
      Your present achievements are directly and inderectly from the sacrifice of our parents.
      Thus, it is our duties to take care our parents when they get old.
      Our little ones, boys and girls will one day grow up and travel distant lands
      to further their education and careers.
      Parents should enjoy your present moments with your children.
      For the young adults who travel far from home, please call home.

   This famous Chinese Poet Lee Bai was from the Tang Dynasty(713 to 756 AD).
   Lee Bai loved to drink and to write poems at the same time.
   One day, according to Chinese Legend, he was travelling on the boat.
   He drank a lot and he saw a bright moon on the lake.
   Lee Bai tried to scoop the moon with his hand but he fall into the lake.

   He drowned or there would be more Chinese poems from Lee Bai.

   
    Full Moon

   
    The Jade Rabbit

      The Jade Rabbit
      According to an Old Chinese Legend, 3 fairy sages transformed themselves into 3 pitiful old men and begged for food from a group of friends (the fox, the monkey and a rabbit). The monkey gave fruits to these old men and the fox gave them a pot of milk. The rabbit was empty handed with only grass available. The rabbit offered itself. Thus, the rabbit jumped into the fire that the old men built and cooked itself. However, the rabbit did not get burned.
      The sages were so touched by the rabbit's sacrifice, and they let the rabbit live in the Moon Palace. It is said that the smoke-like substance surrounding the lunar image is the smoke that rose when the rabbit cast itself into the fire. The rabbit became the "Jade Rabbit."

      Explanations on The Jade Rabbit
      In the Buddhism tradition, it was believed that one who stood fast in moral practice and alms-giving on that day would earn a great reward.


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