~ By Byron H., the Writing Whisperer
One of the first things we are going to look at is choosing a writing topic. You can choose anything, from jotting down your daily life experiences in a journal to creating a unique story or poem on your own. To give an example this time around, I, your Writing Whisperer, will write about one of his favorite subjects: festivals and parties! Something we can all enjoy!
Tonight, for instance, is the full moon and the brightest moon you will see this year. Many call it the “Harvest Moon” as it appears in autumn, the season for the harvest. Going back a bit, people used to call “fall” or “autumn” simply the “Harvest” as it’s the time of year when all of the grains and crops in the fields are taken in. People around this time of year have for centuries honored the abundance of the season with special offerings and prayers to nature. Many still do it even today. So let’s hop in the autumn hay wagon and head on over to see a real harvest event in action – the Mid-Autumn/Moon Festival. You may even know about this festival if your family celebrates it.
In several countries across Asia, including Korea, Vietnam and predominantly China (the latter a place your Whisperer has traveled to, more on that later!) people celebrate a unique harvest festival known in Chinese as (Zhong Qiu Jie), the Mid-Autumn Festival. Its so much a part of Chinese culture that it’s a national holiday! Similar to our American Thanksgiving, families get together and enjoy a specially prepared meal in their home or go out to eat with others close to them. Most people bring a treat which has come to be a symbol for the day – the mooncake. These little auburn pastries are circular in shape to represent the full moon that the festival falls upon and is the reason why people also call today the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival. Inside you will find egg yolks, nuts or pastes made of ground-up lotus plants or beans. People also light lanterns and watch performances of traditional lion and dragon dances.
This harvest get-together has lost much of his agricultural meaning but the moon remains an important part of the occasion. An old Chinese legend relates how Chang ’E, the young wife of an immortal, saves her husband’s life by taking an elixir of immortality. She is then magically transported to the moon where she remains to this day as its resident deity. She is not alone and is joined by a benevolent rabbit who if you look closely appears to be pounding a meal from a large pot (his head is the right eye of the man in the moon!).
So as the summer heat dies down and autumn coolness comes back, look out at the shining full moon tonight and say a little hello to the rabbit and his goddess friend in honor of the harvest.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival Everyone!
Stay tuned for more posts on the Whisperer’s Writing for Fun series!
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