Sunday, October 4, 2009

2 Legends of Mid Autumn Festival

So what did most of you do in the first place? I'm sure quite a number of you are aware that yesterday was our Mid Autumn Festival right? Shopping malls were literally cramped with booths selling mooncakes and you could see different varieties of lantern gracing our streets and the normal grocery shops. In fact I believe a lot of people were eager to celebrate this special festival right? More so because it was on Saturday! :)

I'm sure you had these right?

Me and my dearest wifey had been waiting for this year Mid Autumn Festival with lots of anticipation. In fact, we have been hunting for the must-have mooncakes weeks ago. And final yesterday arrived and we had our mooncakes and toyed around with our traditional lanterns. :p

Lanterns are everywhere. :)

So what on earth is Mid Autumn Festival? For the uninitiated it is also known as Moon Festival! Usually it is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month. They say for every Chinese festivals, there is a story behind it right? The same can be said about this popular festival. There are a lot of legends and stories behind the Mid Autumn Festival. But I'm going to share with you guys 2 of the most popular stories. :)

~Of Hou Yi, Chang'e & The Pill of Immortality~

The first one is of course about the Hou Yi and Chang'e. You see, the Chinese believe that there used to be 10 suns flaming our earth. This caused both crops and humans to suffer. Then came Hou Yi who pitied with the misfortune the people had to endure and he decided to shoot down 9 of the suns. Thereafter Hou Yi was revered by all walks of life and was treated as hero. Of course behind a successful man, there will be a great wife right? So in Hou Yi's case, he had a wonderful and gorgeous wife-Chang'e. Both Hou Yi and his wife, Chang'e lived happily.

Hou Yi shot 9 Suns to save the people!

One day, the Emperor summoned Hou Yi to the palace and gave him 2 Pills of immortality as a reward for shooting down 9 of the suns. But then, the emperor warned Hou Yi that he could only take the pill after the New Year's Day! Of course Hou Yi heeded the emperor's warning. You see...Hou Yi had many apprentices and one of them,by the name of Peng, found out about the discovered about the pills. So one day when Hou Yi and all his apprentices were out for practice, Peng faked his illness and insisted that he couldn't carry on. So he went back.


Peng immediately sneaked into the room where the pills were kept. Chang'e knew about it and refused to hand over the pills to Peng. Chang'e knew that she was helpless against Peng and she decided to swallow the pills instead of giving it to the wicked Peng. But after consuming both the pills, Chang'e started to float and she began to fly further and further away from earth. Chang'e tried desperately now to leave the earth because she loves Hou Yi dearly and finally she could only land on the moon. Hou Yi was despaired and he could do nothing. The only consolation was that he could see his beloved one on the moon.

~Dethronement of Mongol~

Here's another possible reason why Chinese celebrate Mid Autumn festival. It is said that the festival marks the rise of China against the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty. Since group gathering was banned, hence there was no way they could plan any coup against the Mongol! Then they realized that the Mongol didn't eat mooncakes, so rebels timed the ousting to coincide with the Mid-Autumn festival. With the permission from the Mongols, the rebels distributed thousands of mooncakes to the residents in the city. However, inside each cake there was a hidden paper which read, "Kill the Mongols on the 15th of the 8th month!"

On the night of the moon festival, the rebels caught the Mongols off guard and succeeded in dethroning the Mongol! Then the Mid-Autumn festival was celebrated with mooncakes each year to commemorates their victory!

Well...I guess that's all from me folks. I still have so many mooncakes to eat. Haha :D So did you enjoy your mooncakes? How did you celebrate with your friends and family?

Happy Mid Autumn Festival everyone! :)

~First Commenter~