A Happy Mid-autumn festival to everyone who is celebrating!
In this festival, offerings are made to the Moon Goddess, Chang’e. The doodle above is based on Chang’e. The jade rabbit is her companion on the moon.
There are many versions to this Chinese Mythology but the one that I was told as a kid was …
“Once a upon a time, the ten sons of the Jade Emperor (the monarch of all the deities in heaven) transformed into ten suns, causing havoc for Earth with their scorching heat. Hou Yi, a great archer shot down nine of the suns, leaving only one to provide the light.
An immortal gave Hou Yi an elixir of immortality for his efforts in saving the people on Earth. However, Hou Yi did not consume the elixir as he did not want to leave his wife, Chang’e by becoming immortal without her.
Unknown to Hou Yi, one of his apprentices, Feng Meng knew of this secret and wanted the elixir for himself. When Hou Yi was out of the house, Feng Meng broke in and forced Chang’e to give the elixir to him. In order to escape from Feng Meng’s clutches, she swallowed the elixir and ascended into the sky, ultimately landing on the moon.
And the hero and his wife were forced to be apart.”
When I was younger, the Mid-autumn festival is like Christmas to me, because it was a time when I get a new toy, an electrical lantern to celebrate the occasion! My brothers and I would deliberately switch off the lights in the room and play with our lanterns which comes with bright colourful lights and some even come with festival music. In some years, our grandma would even bring us for the mid-autumn festival walks around the neighbourhood.
Fast forward to today, now that we are no longer kids and there are no kids in this household, this festival has taken a different significance for me. It has grow to become a quiet day of remembrance for me – to remember the love that our grandma and granddad gave us, now that they are no longer with us. Maybe they are watching us from above, on the moon?
Anyway, no matter what is the the significance of the festival, it is another great occasion to spend time with your loved ones, have some mooncakes (a round pastry usually with red bean or lotus paste fillings) and tea and simply stare away at the moon! :)