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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 18, 2005

families and moon cakes – the Mid-Autumn Festival

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 1:49 pm

ChinaMoonN If you need a good excuse for spending your Sunday with the family (and not cranking out billable hours or hanging out at the 19th hole), we’ve got one for you: today is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

A Chino-Australian law student (and fan of this website) wrote to tell me about this lovely family-oriented celebration, which is also seen as a harvest festival, and is known for the eating of moon cakes. One description explains:

The clear and radiant moon has been a subject of Chinese poetry and song since ancient times. And the moonlight of Mid-Autumn Festival brings particular warmth and ease to the hearts of the people of China. This festival is said to have originated from the ancient ceremony of Sacrificing to the Moon Goddess. When that ceremony was later combined with the Legend of Eating Mooncakes, Mid-Autumn Festival grew in the popular consciousness to become the major occasion that it is today.

MAFfamily “When the moon is full, mankind is one” — In China, the full moon has always represented the gatherings of friends and family. Thus, Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family reunions. On this night, families will go together to scenic spots and parks for moon appreciation parties, eating mooncakes and pomeloes in the cool night air and praying for a safe year.

History buffs will enjoy the mooncake legend and its mythic part in helping with the revolt of the Han people against the Mongol Yuan Dynasty.

Yesterday afternoon, I went shopping for moon cakes and I had my very first one last night (actually, an entire 4000-calorie package of them). I saved a package to share with haijin Yu Chan and John Stevenson — who are going to let me instruct them on playing bocce this afternoon.

Here are three poems from Yu that set the tone for the Mid-Autumn Festival:

cutting the moon cake
just like my mother
Mid Autumn Festival

overseas phone call
we talk about
the moon

full moon time to go home

………………………………… by yu chang
“cutting the moon cake” – Upstate Dim Sum 2002/I
“overseas phone call” – Upstate Dim Sum 2004/I
‘full moon’ – Upstate Dim Sum 2001/II

follow-up:  See our 2007 Mid-Autumn Festival posting;and here, too, with links to our Harvest Moon haiku collections.

city street corner –
the cricket, and I
and the harvest moon

………………………………….. by dagosan [Sept. 18, 2005] ChinaMoonG

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