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  • Jul 31, 2014
  • Updated: 12:53am

Origins of the moon festival

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2005, 12:00am

The Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Lunar Calendar, is one of the most popular Chinese celebrations.


In ancient China, with the moon at its fullest and brightest, it was the ideal time to celebrate the summer's harvest.


There are different stories as to how the festival originated.


According to one that dates back to 2170BC, Chang Er is the beautiful woman who ended up living on the moon.


The story goes: There were 10 suns circling the Earth and one day all of them appeared together, scorching the earth with their heat.


Chang's husband, Hou Yi - an ace archer - managed to shoot down nine of the 10 suns.


Later, Chang drank the elixir of youth. Then she found herself floating and flew to the moon.


The festival is also said to commemorate the uprising against the Mongolians


during the Yuan Dynasty (1280-1368AD), when group gatherings among the Chinese were banned.


On the 15th day of the Eighth Moon, Liu Futong inserted a piece of paper in each mooncake calling for a rebellion. He then distributed the cakes.


They successfully overthrew the government and later established the Ming Dynasty. So the day was celebrated with mooncakes.


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