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The Moon Festival

The Moon Festival, or the Mid-autumn Festival is celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar ( the lunar calendar ), during a full moon, which is in September in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. On this day, families would get together, eat moon cakes and appreciate the beauty of the full moon.  In Chinese culture, a round shape symbolizes completeness and unity. Thus, the sharing of round mooncakes among family members signify the completeness and unity of families. There is a beautiful story behind this festival. In ancient times, there were ten suns in the sky, making the earth scorching hot. People could not grow any plants and there was barely water for them to drink. People hence led very miserable lives. Ho-i, a brave archer, shot down nine suns for the welfare of the people. The Queen of heaven gave him two pills of elixir as reward. Ho-i was told that taking one pill on the night of the 15th of August would make him immortal. He intended to share them with his beloved wife, Chang-er. However, an evil person, Feng Meng, forced Chang-er to give him the elixir while Ho-i was away from home. Chang-er couldn’t defeat Feng Meng so she ate the two pills immediately. All of a sudden, Chang-er flew higher and higher until she landed on the moon. Ho-i was heart broken but there’s nothing he could do to bring his beloved wife back. So every year on the day when Chang-er flew to the full moon, Ho-i would prepare food and drinks in the garden, looking up at the moon, hoping his wife could see him from the moon palace.  There are many versions of this story, and there is also one about the famous character, Wu Kang. Legend has it that he keeps chopping the laurel tree in the moon palace as a punishment for his laziness. I have found some interesting videos online.

For this week’s assignment, use your cellphone to record what you do with your friends or families on Moon Festival. Alternatively, you can also work with a group of students to make a clip on the stories about the Moon Festival, “IN ENGLISH,”of course. Next time, please upload it to Youtube and post your link on Edmodo. I would post your work on this blog as well. Happy Moon Festival!

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