Thursday 18 September 2008

Mid-Autumn Festival - 中秋節

Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar (September 14 this year). It's a time for farmers to celebrate the end of the harvest, and for families to get together under the full moon and spend some time with each other. The occasion is also marked in various ways in different regions of East Asia. Here, lots of mooncakes are eaten, and lots of kids (and adults!) carry around lit lanterns, or in a slightly more 21st century style, neon glowsticks. We went to a Mid-Autumn Festival at Victoria Park on Sunday night and saw lots of these lanterns and brightly coloured displays of illuminated flowers.

There are, as Commandant Lassard would say, many many many many legends surrounding the Mid-Autumn festival. They all involve Chang'e, who flies to the moon (and lives there) and Houyi the archer. Wikipedia has more than enough info on this, and I recommend you have a read if you're interested, and pick whichever version you prefer.

I bought myself a little goldfish lantern - he's called Leonard, and he came from this rather superb-looking shop.

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