Mid-Autumn Day or Chinese Moon Festival is a traditional festival in China celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. It is a time for family members and loved ones to congregate and enjoy the full moon, everyone likes to eat mooncakes on that day. Here is how I spent such a special day living in Australia.
To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival most families have a dinner together. A saying goes: ‘The moon in your hometown is almost always the brightest and roundest’, and that is why many people who live far away from their homes want to go back to have a family reunion during the festival. In China the festival lasts 3 days, and it’s celebrated as a public holiday, everyone is happy to enjoy the moon cakes while watching the full moon with their family members.
There is a lovely story behind the Mid-Autumn day Festival. According to Chinese mythology, the earth once had 10 suns circling around it. One day, all 10 suns appeared together, scorching the earth with their heat. The earth was saved when a strong archer, Hou Yi, succeeded in shooting down 9 of the suns and saved the earth. Yi was given the elixir of life to become immortal, but his wife, Chang-E had to drink it because she wanted to prevent bad people to steal it. When Chang-E drank the elixir, she went to the moon and stayed there. Hou Yi was so sad to lose his wife that every night he looked up to the moon waiting to be again with his wife. Old Chinese people think that during the Moon Festival is the only time the two can meet. And that is how started the legend of the lady in the moon to whom young Chinese girls would pray at the Mid-Autumn Festival.
In this day we should be with our family together, but because I live in Australia and I couldn’t be with my family I had to find a way to celebrate this traditional festival living away from home. l joined the Griffith University Chinese Cultural Association, and I helped them hold the “Mid-Autumn Festival Gala” in association with the Bond University Chinese Cultural Association. l think this activity is wonderful for the Chinese people to celebrated this festival, as we can get together to enjoy the shows like: pop music singers, dancing groups, Chinese classical music, Chinese comic dialogue and a delicious dinner.
This year I was in charge of selling tickets to students and people who would like to celebrate with us, and I was also in charge on the day of the event of helping people find their seats. There was over 250 people at the event, they were all dressed very nice, and we also had the Lord Major of the Gold Coast opening the ceremony and giving a speech.
I really enjoyed this experience because I practised my social abilities, celebrated my culture and made new friends. I hope you had a great Mid-Autumn festival celebration this year and hope you can join us next year! 😀
– Zhao (Crystal) Yuqing
Chinese guest blogger current GELI student
About Crystal: My name is Crystal, I’m 18 years old. I come from China and my hometown is Xi’an. Now I study at Griffith English Language Institute (GELI) and then I will continue to Griffith College. I want to show you all the activities you can enjoy living abroad and learn more about life in the Gold Coast together.