The time of the year that the moon is at its brightest-the Mid-Autumn Festival. The festival, which has a history of over 3,000 years, will take place in the middle of 8th month in the lunar calendar, which is on September 24 this year. Along with traditional ways to celebrate this meaningful festival, there are a few customs have been invented by the modern society. Check out the ways to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore.
1. Eat Mooncakes
In Chinese culture, a round shape symbolizes completeness and reunion. Thus, the sharing and eating of round mooncakes among family members during the week of the festival signify the completeness and unity of families.
- Gardens by the Bay – Celebrate an Autumn of Fantasies with dazzling lantern sets that bring together imaginary worlds and natural wonders. In “Leaping over the Dragon’s Gate”, our widest lantern set to date spanning 70m across the water, carps brave the strong currents as they swim upstream towards the Dragon’s Gate in the hope of turning into a dragon. Another highlight is “The Phoenix and the Peony”, which symbolises nobility, harmony, and affluence.
- Mid-Autumn Festival Light-Up- The Mid-Autumn Festival Festival at Chinatown will showcase exciting, colourful and vibrant programmes for the whole month. Head down to Chinatown with your family to check out the colourful lanterns and dazzling decorations. Apart from the Light-up ceremony, you can also adopt-a-lantern which you fancy during the mid-autumn festival and bring it home after a successful application is made with the People’s Association.
- Vivo City- Feast your eyes on over 2,000 Tsum Tsum lanterns installed all over VivoCity’s third-level SkyPark.
The Story of Chang E
The story of Chang E is the most widely accepted tale regarding the moon and the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is said that in ancient times, ten suns existed and the extreme heat made people’s lives very difficult. It was the hero Hou Yi, who, owing to his great strength, shot down nine of the ten suns. On hearing of this amazing feat and the hero who performed it, people came from far and wide to learn from him. Peng Meng was among these people. Later, Hou Yi married a beautiful and kind-hearted woman named Chang E and lived a happy life.
One day, Hou Yi came upon Wangmu (the Queen of Heaven) on the way to meet his old friend. Wangmu presented him an elixir which, if taken, would cause him to ascend immediately to heaven and become a god/goddess. Instead of drinking the potion himself, Hou Yi took it home and presented it to Chang E to keep. Unfortunately, Peng Meng secretly saw Hou Yi give the potion to his wife and three days later, while Hou Yi was out hunting, Peng Meng rushed into the backyard and demanded that Chang E hand over the elixir. Knowing that she could not win, she took out the elixir and swallowed it immediately. The moment she drank it, she flew out of the window and up into the sky. Chang E’s great love for her husband drew her towards the Moon, which is the nearest place to the earth on the heaven. On realizing what happened to his wife, Hou Yi was so grieved that he shouted Chang E’s name to the sky. He was amazed to see a figure which looked just like his wife appeared in the Moon. He took the food liked by Chang E to an altar and offered it as a sacrifice for her. After hearing that Chang E became a goddess, folk people also offered sacrifices to Chang E to pray for peace and good luck. Since then, the custom of sacrificing to the moon has been spread among the folklore.
Jade Rabbit Pounding Medicine
The story goes about that three immortals who reincarnated themselves into three poor old people and begged food from a fox, a monkey, and a rabbit. The fox and monkey both gave food to the immortals. However, the rabbit did not have any food. It then said to the immortals: “you can eat me” and jumped into the fire. The immortals were so moved by the rabbit and sent it to the moon to become an immortal jade rabbit. Ever since the jade rabbit stayed in the Moon Palace to accompany Chang E and pounded immortal medicine for those living in the heaven.