This is a short summary of one of the articles from Webzine SILKROADIA VOL.2 NO.2. For more specialized information, please download our Webzine, and read " The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival" written by Li Ke is a student at Beijing Foreign Studies University, China.
The four major traditional festivals in China – the Mid-Autumn Festival, Spring Festival, Ching Ming Festival, andDragon Boat Festival – all have profound historical origins. The Mid-Autumn Festival, originating from the worship of celestial phenomena, and evolved from the autumn eve of ancient times. Originally, the "Jiyue Festival" was on the 24th “solar term,”or the autumn equinox in the Ganzhi calendar. Later, it was adjusted to the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, though in some places, the Mid-Autumn Festival was set on the 16th day of the lunar calendar. The festival was popularized in the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), finalized in the early years of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), and has prevailed from the Song Dynasty (AD 960- 1279) to this day. The Mid-Autumn Festival is a day for family reunion. The Mid-Autumn Festival uses the full moon to signify the reunion of people. It is a rich and precious cultural heritage for yearning for our hometown, the longing for loved ones, and praying for the harvest and for happiness. There are countless poems related to the Mid-Autumn Festival. I will end this article with the popular "Watery-Prelude-Melody" written by Su Shi.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to everyone!
Watery - Prelude - Melody
How rare the moon, so round and clear!
With cup in hand, I ask of the blue sky,
I do not know in the celestial sphere
What name this festive night goes by?
I want to fly home, riding the air,
But fear the ethereal cold up there,
The jade and crystal mansions are so high!
Dancing to my shadow,
I feel no longer the mortal tie.
She rounds the vermilion tower,
Stoops to silk-pad doors,
Shines on those who sleepless lie.
Why does she, bearing us no grudge,
Shine upon our parting, reunion deny?
But rare is perfect happiness--
The moon does wax, the moon does wane,
And so men meet and say goodbye.
I only pray our life be long,
And our souls together heavenward fly!
Translated by Lin Yutang
© 2020 Li Ke All Rights Reserved.