The Origin of the Mid Autumn Festival
The Mid Autumn Festival has a long history. Like other traditional festivals, it also developed slowly. The ancient emperors had the ritual of sacrificing the sun in spring and the moon in autumn. As early as in ancient books, the word “Mid Autumn Festival” has been recorded.
Later, the nobles and literati also followed suit. In the Mid Autumn Festival, they looked at the bright and round moon in the sky to worship and express their feelings. This custom spread to the people and formed a traditional activity.
Until the Tang Dynasty, people paid more attention to the custom of sacrificing the moon, and the Mid Autumn Festival became a fixed festival. The Mid Autumn Festival was popular in the Song Dynasty and became one of the major festivals in China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. As a statutory holiday, the Mid Autumn Festival is now open for three days on August 15 of the lunar calendar.
Mid Autumn Festival customs
Admire the moon
In terms of time, the grains sown in spring and sown in summer should be harvested in autumn. Since ancient times, people have been drinking and dancing in this season to celebrate the harvest, which is described in the earliest poems of our country. From the perspective of origin, the Mid Autumn Festival is also the “Worship Moon Festival”, which originates from the ancient human worship of nature.
In the ancient emperors’ ritual system, there were two sacrificial ceremonies: spring sacrificial ceremony for the sun and autumn sacrificial ceremony for the moon. At first, the day of sacrificing the moon was the “autumnal equinox”, which was different every year in August. However, there was no moon on the autumnal equinox, so it was gradually established that the day of sacrificing the moon was fixed on August 15.
According to scientific observation, in the middle of August of the lunar calendar, the air is particularly fresh, the sky is particularly clean, and the moon looks round and big, which is the best time to enjoy the moon.
The full moon on the Mid Autumn Festival means reunion and beauty, which is a wish for a better life.
It is said that in the Yuan Dynasty, people were unwilling to be subjected to the cruel rule of the Mongols and revolted against the Yuan Dynasty. Zhu Yuanzhang wanted to unite the resistance forces, but the officers and soldiers searched closely, so they couldn’t pass on the news. So Liu Bowen came up with a plan to hide the note with the words “August 15th Uprising” into the cake. Then they will send them separately to the insurgent troops around the country and inform them to respond to the uprising on the evening of August 15 of the lunar calendar.
Therefore, the Yuan Dynasty was overthrown at one stroke. In order to commemorate this achievement, the custom of eating moon cakes during the Mid Autumn Festival was passed down.
Visit relatives and friends
The Mid Autumn Festival is not only a time for family reunion, but also a good opportunity for younger generations to prepare gifts for their parents, elders and respected leaders to express their gratitude.
Evolution of the Mid Autumn Festival
Because of their love for the Mid Autumn Festival, many poets have written many poems to express their joy at the festival. The difference of regions has also produced unique cultural customs in many regions. All kinds of cultural customs are based on people’s infinite love for life and vision for a better future.
Asian countries deeply influenced by Chinese culture also have the custom of celebrating the Mid Autumn Festival, such as South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, etc.
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