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A Brief introduction of the

Mid -Aut umn Festival

学 号: 指导教师: 刘显容

学科专业: 英语专业(师范方向)

班 级: 2012级六班

摘 要





The Mid-Autumn Festival is in the lunar August 15th. It is the second major traditional festivals in China after the Spring Festival. It is also called Zhongqiu Festival, Reunion Festival and Festival of August. And the Mid-Autumn Festival is not only the traditional festival of Chinese Han ethnic and most of the minorities but also popular in Korea, Japan and Vietnam and other neighboring countries. According to ancient Chinese calendar, there are four seasons in a year; each season has three months which are Meng, Zhong and Ji .So the second month in fall is called the Mid-Autumn fall.

With the development of society, the moon has many stories, from Wu Gang to chang’e, imagination painted pieces of variegated world scenery for moon .Since the Han Dynasty, writers and poets praised the moon and months, which was a very good moment to express the feelings of the full moon in August. At the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the moon was in the sky and shone the earth. People regarded the moon as a symbol of reunion, to regard August 15th as a day of family ’s reunion. Therefore, the Mid-A utumn Festival is also called “The Festival of R eunion”.

Key Words: The origin of Mid-Autumn Festival, folk-custom, folklore

1 The origin of Mid-Autumn Festival

1.1 Originated from the ancient worship of the month

As with other traditional festivals, the Mid-Autumn festival has a long history. The emperors of ancient had the etiquette of worshiping the sun in Spring and worshiping the moon in Autumn. In ancient books,

there was the record of “the Mid-Autumn ”○

1 Later aristocrats and scholars also follow up. All of them worshiped the moon in the Mid-Autumn festival. This custom spread to folk and formed a traditional activity.

Until the Tang Dynasty, the festival custom of moon got more attention of people. The Mid-Autumn Festival became a fixed festival . And they had recorded the festival in book “August 15th

Mid-Autumn Festival ”○

2 This festival was prevalent in the Song Dynasty. To the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was famous as New Year's Day, as one of China's major festivals.

1.2 The relationship with the imperial examination

In the feudal society of China, there was a very important exam to select talent. And once in three years the Autumn Wei match arranged to be held in August. People called the champions laurel of mid-autumn. Every mid-autumn festival, they must celebrate the important thing. Later it had become a important custom. So the Mid-Autumn Festival has become one of the most important festivals in China.

2 The folk-custom of Mid-Autumn Festival

2.1 The moon in the Mid-Autumn Festival

In China, worshiping moon is a very old custom. It is also the origin

of the festival. The place of worshiping called Ri Tan, Di Tan, Yue Tan, Tian Tan, which were located in the four directions of east south north and west. Beijing Yuetan is the place of Ming and Qing emperors worshiping in the festival. Book of Rites on the record as “yuzuki of

Autumn Twilight”○

3 that is to worship goddess of the moon. In the Song Dynasty, the Mid-Autumn Festival moon's much more vigorous, as far as Tokyo Meng hua lu reads: “In the autumn of your

home decorations Taixie, civil war accounted for restaurants Wan Yue”○

4During the day, the capital of all shops, restaurants must be re-decoration, ceremonial arch tie silk wounded, the sale of fresh fruit and refined good food, night markets crowded, the people who boarded the tower over a number of well-off people in their own tower Pavilion on the moon, and put food or arrange a private banquet, family reunion child, a common view of the moon Xu Tan.

2.2 Eating moon cakes

China's urban and rural masses, the festival has a custom of eating moon cakes, “moon cakes” the word first appeared in the Dream beams

of Wu zimu ○

5 in the Southern Song .During that time, it was only the cake pie food. Later, people gradually to the full moon and the taste of the Mid-Autumn moon cakes together, being a symbol of family reunion.

Moon cakes was originally produced in the family, The Yuan Mei of Qing Dynasty in Sui Garden Fresh single had recorded a moon cake

approach ○

6. In modern times, there were specialized workshops making moon cakes, the production became more sophisticating, the moon is also printed with a variety of exquisite patterns. The moon cake were round ,so it means reunion and it symbolizes miss home, miss their loved ones.

2.3 Playing with lanterns

In The Mid-Autumn Festival, there are many games. The first is playing lanterns. Playing lanterns is mainly carried out in the family, children. There was a record “a little red light in the river drift” activity in

Wulin old thing in the early Northern Song Dynasty○

7 Various kinds of lights: Sesame lamp, eggshell lamp, lamp shell particles, straw lamps, Shavings lamp, chaff lamp, melon seed hull fish lamp and birds tree lights, amazing.

3 Folklore in the Mid-Autumn Festival

3.1 Chang'e flight to the moon

According to legend, in ancient times a year, ten suns appeared in the sky. There was a hero named Hou Yi shot down nine stretch an excess of sun. He married a beautiful and kind-hearted wife named Chang-e. They were respected by people. One day, Hou Yi got a drug from the Queen Mother. It is said that the drug dose can immediately go to heaven immortal.

Three days later, Hou Yi went out hunting, Peng Meng wanted to steal the drug. Chang-e knew that they are not rivals, when she was critical of the decisive turn open the treasure box, took out elixir swallowed. Chang-e swallowed drugs, the body immediately floated off the ground, out of the window, flew to the sky. As Chang-e worried about her husband, then fly to the moon from the earth into the nearest cent.

In the Evening, Hou Yi returned home, he was scared and angry, but Peng Meng escaped early. He looked up at the night sky, calling his beloved wife's name. Then he was surprised to find that today's moon is particularly bright and clear and there is a shaking of the figure resembles the Chang-e. People soon heard about the news of Chang-e, they pray for good luck peace. Since then, the custom of Mid-Autumn Festival worship in private spread.

3.2 Wu Gang cut the laurel

It is said that on the moon there was a laurel which was more than 500 feet high. There was a person always in cutting it, but he never cut it down. For thousands of years, Wu Gang never stop in cut the tree, the laurel tree can not be cut down forever.

It is said that the man named Wu Gang, was living near the Han

River. He followed the religious immortal, flight to heaven. But he made a mistake, an immortal banished him to the palace. He did this work proved futile grind day after day as a punishment. Li Bai had a poem

wrote “to chop a GUI months, who had paid for the cold”○


3.3 Zhu Yuanzhang and moon cakes uprising

Eating moon cakes in Mid-Autumn Festival began in the Yuan dynasty. At that time, the majority of the people were unbearable with the ruling class and the brutality of the Yuan dynasty rule. Zhu Yuanzhang joint the uprising to resist the government. But the government officers searched very tight, The army were very difficult to send the message. His consigliore Liu Bowen devised a plan, hiding a note writes “August fifteen night uprising” inside the pancake, and then sent to the rebel army, to inform them on the evening of August 15th uprising. At the day of the uprising , all the army got together.

Soon, Xu Da captured Yuan Dadu, the uprising succeeded. The news came, Zhu Yuanzhang was very happy and hurriedly pass down the oral instructions that in the coming Mid-Autumn Festival, all the soldiers could have fun with the citizens. And he ordered to regard the “moon cakes” as the seasonal pastries to reward courtiers. Since then, the “moon cakes” were made more and more sophisticated, and the Mid-Autumn moon cakes in folk custom spread.