For those of you who don’t know, today/tomorrow is the Moon/Mid-Autumn Festival for us Chinese folk and it’s one of the two most important holidays in our calendar (next to New Years). lol, I actually think it’s more known for moon cakes to Westerners but the festival is probably our version of a Thanksgiving since it’s a time where family gathers to…do family stuff.
Yea, um, haven’t been much of a family person lately. ^^;
Well, besides that, it’s also the time where the moon is at is fullest and most beautiful during the year. If you take a look outside for the next few nights (before 9 or 10 PM), you’ll probably see it in a magnificent gold glow. And big, too, but that depends on the time and where you’re looking at it from. Ah, I can’t see it from my room now so maybe I’ll go outside later.
Anyways, we celebrate tradition by eating mooncake:
Lighting lanterns (it’s also called the Lantern Festival, btw):
Among other things but those are the ones I’m most familiar with. I’m sure the people from the mainland have more extravagant celebrations (lol, add more partying after the country’s 60th anniversary, YEA!) but there’s probably been a lot of events going on in my NY Chinatown, too. Though I couldn’t go with school holding me up and all. Blergh.
But yea, it’s a very big holiday and I’m going out to eat with my family tomorrow night so I’ll try to get some of my planned posts done before then.
I refuse to do homework! I’m in a pig-out mode! =3=
Sorry I can’t explain this in a more organized fashion (I get all jumbled up talking about my traditions ^^; ) but if you’re curious to read up more, then here’s the wiki page for it.
Several of our Asian neighbors, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Phillipines, and Singapore, celebrate it as well. The Japanese’s Tsukimi (“tsuki” of course meaning “moon” and “mi” meaning “eyes” so equally “to watch the moon”) festival originated from and borrows similar aspects of our own. I figured I should mention that for some relevancy…and oh yea, there’s dango. haha
Going back to the moon cake and why it has such a big significance for this holiday…
One is the legend of Chang’e, the Moon Goddess, and China’s lunar worship dating back to who-knows-how-far-back-when. There are way too many versions of the story for me to tell here but basically, Chang’e ends up gaining immortality (usually by consuming a seed/root that makes her so or drinking an elixir) and floats up to the moon where she stays there and can’t get back down to Earth afterwards. In other versions, she wasn’t so naive and curious and actually drank it willingly. Either to escape humanity or more often, her husband, Houyi
god, MARRIAGE! xP.
Again, I can’t tell it very accurately so you’ll have to read it for yourself but they’re all interesting and different enough from each other. Heck, one or two even includes the “rabbit on the moon” people occasionally hear about and it serves as her only company on that lonely moon while it makes elixir from a self-reviving tree…and/or mooncake. lol XD
Interesting to note that while Chang’e is the Moon Goddess in Chinese mythology, she is not necessarily the moon itself but only resides on it. Usually, people would think this is the case with celestial beings (i.e. Amaterasu, the Japanese goddess of the sun, etc) so I was a bit surprised when I learned this.
Why am I mentioning this here, I’ll get back to in a second but as for another reason of the importance of moon cake, it served as a message tool against the Mongols during the war. Meaning, you write a small little note, stick it inside the pastry, bake it and deliver it to imprisoned soldiers under the guise of tradition. The Mongols won’t eat it so they never bothered to check and were successfully overthrown on the 15th of the 8th lunar month. And so that’s why we celebrate it every year on that day. Woohoo! I want some mooncake now. lol XDDDD
Yep, that’s two of the major reason. According to Wiki, anyways, but I already knew this way before Wiki came along so just reinforcing my knowledge. Heh.
BANNER: It makes me sad that I have to take down my lovely SimonxNia anniversary banner (I seriously love those two to death! <333) to replace it with this…meh one but I don’t plan to have this up for long either.
Hmm…well, all I did was take a picture of the moon, made some more background and slapped text onto it (with Pochacco~). It actually looks much better with just the background
even though my cloning still sucks but I should say something, y’know. And this is perfect timing, too, since the fall season has started so yay! Let’s hope for a great fall season, shall we? ^^
As to why I didn’t use anime/manga characters with it, I’m going to point back about that detail with Chang’e. Myth has so many versions of the same story that it gets mixed up so much, you’d wonder what the original story was. But I surmise as much that Chang’e, for the most part, ascended to the moon and was not originally from it. I have a heavy interest in myth and legends and try to stick close to the most original and accurate version as I can. This goes the same for my nationality.
Technically, if I were celebrating Tsukimi, I might put up a character who has some association with the moon. Since this blog continues to cover mostly about SC!, those siblings would come to mind. But you know what? I have my Chinese pride and frankly, as much as I love my anime and manga, they have very little do with my culture.
Moreover, I don’t like the idea of characters with a “borrowed name” hogging national holidays-related matters. That’s just not right to me. If it’s in general or just a group that’s moon-viewing, yea, sure, no problem but fictional individuals can’t match up to something this real and big.
Then why do you have Pochacco up there?
Well, Sanrio made Pochacco and Sanrio is Japanese, yes, but Sanrio has long been more universal than it was strictly tied to its origin. Not in the case of anime, though. And even if anime outruns Sanrio sometime in the future, everyone knows it’s still going to be Japanese.
…ah, I went off on a rant. Oi. haha |D;
So yep, I guess I’ll end it there and continue with watching raws instead of working on that speech I should be doing. lol
Happy Moon Festival to my fellow Chinese, happy anniversary to my parent’s homeland, and happy autumn to the rest of you!
This was actually a New Years pic but heck, they’re holding lanterns and wishing good fortune is a year-round thing. That’s all the reason I need! :P
Haha, k, enjoy the fall season then. ~.^