Mid – Autumn Festival also known as Moon Festival is one of the many festive traditions on the Chinese Calender. It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month in observance of the bountiful Autumn harvest. Even though official celebrations began on the 15th of September, 2010. My celebrations began on the 14th of September.

The day started out like any other. I arrived to class with my usual sleepy attitude. The day progressed with many people talking about their moon festival plans. Many of my friend were getting together to do a Barbeque at Jihe Campus. In the midst of considering my attendance to the Barbeque I saw many foreigners surrounding the International Affairs office. There a big sign with the words “ MOON FESTIVAL: come and get your free mooncakes.” This brought back my attention to the annual tradition. I soon found myself gathered in a group of familiar faces and together we began sharing many traditional stories about the Moon Festival. 

There was mixture of awe and excited as we all listen to many new stories about the celebration of Moon festival. One of my favorite centered around Chang- O and Hou-Yi. After Hou-Yi , an archer whose arrows were able to slay the enemies married Chang- O, he was called by the King. The King ordered him to and kill 9 of the 10 Sun that had joined forces to burn and threaten mankind. After Hou Yi succeeded in his mission, he was given an Elixer of life in the form of a pill. One day his wife, Chang–O found it and took it. Immediately she began flying toward the sky. Hou- Yi saw her and began to follow her but he soon discovered that he could not keep up. Chang-O landed on the moon and coughed out a part of the pill. While on the moon she encountered a Hare. She commanded the hare to help her cough out the other part of the pill but was unsuccessful. As for Yi, he built himself a palace on the sun and renamed himself as Yang. He also named Chang–O as Yin. It is said that once year he is allowed to visit his wife on the moon and that was why the moon is so beautiful that night. I really enjoyed the story but somehow it left me a bit troubled.

The next day I woke up bright and early and got a head start on my homework. I decided not to go the Barbeque as me and two friends decided to make our own tradition. We called it the Annual Subway Moon festival. About mid-day we gathered at the bottom of Ming Chuan University dressed semi formal. Together we made our way to subway. Together we had decided to create this special celebration with the intention of just having fun at a place we found most comfortable. I ended up having an amazing time laughing and talking with my friends. It was one of the rare times that we were able to enjoy subway without having to rush back home.

By the time I arrived home a bit sweaty and tired due to walking in the sun and having to climb the many flight of stairs at Ming Chuan. However it was all worth it. Together we had enjoyed one of the rare moments where we get to talk relax and enjoy conversations without mentioning classes and homework. When I entered my room I was greeted by another surprise. There was a present waiting for me. I was super shocked and yet super excited as I slowly sat at my table and began unwrapping my present. Inside package contained a box of moon cakes from my Indonesian friend, Theresa. My eyes were glistening and I felt like a child receiving a present for the first time. The moon cakes look a bit expensive and I was very grateful for the present. I immediately called her and thank her for her kindness. She told me that she wanted to do some special as thanks for being a good friend during summer. It was then that I understood one of the many morals from the Archer’s story. While many might forward to Barbeque and moon cakes, others look forward to remembering friends and family and being thankful for their daily presence. Rather than only getting to see them once a year, like that Archer the happy faces that mean the world to us are the ones we should celebrate during moon festival.

 

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