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Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, is a major festival celebrated by the Chinese culture. Each year, it falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month on the Lunar calendar. Here, families gather together to sample autumn harvests, light lanterns and admire what's believed to be the fullest moon of the year.
In China, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important traditional festival after Chinese New Year. This festival is also celebrated in other parts of Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Macau. In the Gregorian calendar, the Moon Festival usually falls in September or early October. In 2020, it falls on 1st October.
Pistachio Mandarin Language Centre celebrated the Mid - Autumn Festival (Zhōngqiū jié）with our students last week, which was also our last lesson for Term 3. We celebrated this festival by retelling the story of Chang E and Hou Yi, made paper lanterns and taught our students the keywords relating to this important festival.
According to Chinese mythology, there were originally 10 suns which rose in the sky, scorching many crops and people to death. However, after time, Hou Yi, who was a brilliant archer, soon came to rescue the villages. He shot down nine of the ten suns and left only one in the sky.
Afterwards, Hou Yi became a greatly respected hero and received an elixir of immortality from Wangmu, the Queen of Heaven. Unfortunately, one of Hou Yi's archery students, Feng Meng, tried to seize the elixir when he wasn't home. In order to protect the elixir, Hou Yi's wife Chang E drank it and immediately ascended into the skies. Through this, she became the moon goddess and left her husband. Hou Yi missed his wife so much that he made an offering to the moon. In memory of Chang E, people honoured her by eating fruit and making mooncake.
Here is the link of the story of the Mid-Autumn Festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMMU1YJadzE
After the story telling, our students learnt how the Chinese celebrate the Mid- Autumn Festival (Zhōngqiū jié) nowadays. Families come together to have moon cake (chī yuè bǐng), enjoy the full moon (shǎng yuè , dine with a big meal (chī dà cān) and children will immerse in playing the lanterns (wán dēng lóng). We also learnt the greeting of "Happy Mid-Autumn Festival " ( zhōng qiū jié kuài lè).
The children made their own paper lanterns (zuò dēng lóng) to celebrate, which they enjoyed very much. Everyone had a great time celebrating this traditional festival together. Through this activity our students were able to practice their speaking skills through wishing each other celebratory phrases and keywords relating to the festival.
See below for some photos and video of Pistachio Mandarin's celebration of the Mid- Autumn Festival.
Link for the video: