The Moon Festival 中秋节 (zhongqiujie) is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, September 21 for 2021.
On this night, the moon is particularly bright. It is rounder and more beautiful than the rest of the year. The Chinese consider the full moon as a symbol of family reunion.
On this day, various legends are told about the Moon. Among them, the story of Chang’e is the best known:
A long time ago, the Earth was surrounded by ten suns. Each one in turn illuminated the Earth. One day, all ten suns appeared at the same time, boiling the seas, drying out the land and vegetation. This chaos was saved by a brave and skilled archer named Hou Yin. With his bow, he unhooked the nine suns, leaving only one in the sky.
After this feat, Hou Yi became king. He began to drink and behave like a tyrant. One day, Hou Yi stole the elixir of long life from the heavenly Queen Mother, hoping to become immortal and reign forever. But his beautiful wife Chang’e drank the elixir herself to save the people from her husband’s tyrannical laws. When the vial was emptied, Chang’e felt her body float away and flew to the moon. Hou Yin loved his wife so much that he did not shoot the moon.
Legend has it that on the night of the Moon Festival, if one watched the moon carefully, one could see Chang’e in her palace.
On the night of the festival, each family set up a table covered with fruit, peanuts seasoned with cinnamon powder… In the middle of the table, there was also a pyramid of Yuebing (moon cake), one for each member of the family. In the censer, a sprig of soybean representing the laurel in the moon was planted. When everything was ready, each member of the family bowed to the moon to pay homage to Chang’e who had remained in the Moon Palace.