In China, Mid-autumn Day is considered to be a symbol of family reunion. On this day, all the family members gather together at home to celebrate this special occasion. Last year, I could not celebrate the festival with my family because I was in university. However, this special day left a deep impression on me.
I still remember the atmosphere of that evening. All the students who could not go back home assembled in our classroom, having a party to celebrate this traditional festival. We tried our best to show our own enthusiasm. As an ethnic minority, I performed a peacock dance, which received warm applause. After the two-hour party, we went out to the playground and sat together to appreciate the moon because it is a tradition on Mid-autumn Day. We ate moon cakes, played cards, and listened to romantic poems recited by one of our classmates. In that harmonious atmosphere, nobody felt lonely or homesick even though we were far away from our homes.
Thanks to our classmates, I experienced such a colorful and interesting Mid-autumn Day at my university. Thus, I learned to value all the festivals I spent during my university life.
Chusok (“fall evening”) is a Korean “Harvest Moon” (Han-gawi) festival set on the 15th day of the eighth lunar moon. Chusok (韩国中秋节), also known as the Korean Thanksgiving or Mid-Autumn Festival, is one of the most celebrated Korean holidays. It occurs during the harvest season. Thus, Korean families take this time to thank their ancestors for providing them with rice and fruits.
The celebration starts on the night before Chusok and ends on the day after the holiday. Thus, many Korean families take three days off from work to get together with family and friends.
The celebration starts with a family get-together at which rice cakes called “Songphyun” (蒸糕) are served. These special rice cakes are made of rice, beans, sesame seeds, and chestnuts. Then the family pays respect to ancestors by visiting their tombs and offering them rice and fruits. The Koreans visit the graves of their ancestors to bow and clean the area for the coming winter. In the evening, children wear their favorite hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and dance under the bright moon in a large circle. They play games and sing songs. Like the American Thanksgiving, Chusok is the time to celebrate the family and give thanks for their blessings.
Community activities include masked dance, Kanggangsuwollae, an ancient circle dance, tug-of-wars and the tortoise game, kobuk-nori (乌龟游戏), in which two men dress as a tortoise and tour the villagedancing and performing for food and drink. Most of all, Ch‘usok is a time to give thanks for the autumn harvest and reaffirm familial and community ties.
The Mid-Autumn Festival has all interesting history. Long ago in one of the dynasties of China there was a king who was very cruel to the people and did not manage the country well. The people were so angry that some brave ones suggested killing the king. So they wrote notes telling about the meeting place and time and put them into cakes. On the 15th day of the 8th lunar month every person was told to buy the cakes. When they ate them they discovered the notes. So they gathered together to make a sudden attack on the king. From then on the Chinese people celebrate on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month and eat “moon cakes” in memory of that important event.
When the Mid-Autumn Festival is near, shop windows are beautifully decorated. Many “moon cakes” are displayed for people to buy. People send presents such aswine, fruits and “moon cakes” to their friends and relatives. In the evening of the day, they have a feast. After the feast, they go out to the garden to look at the moon. The children run and laugh on the streets.
It is believed that the moon is at her brightest on this night. Many poems have been written about it, and poets are never tired of reading and writing such poems. In Chinese literature, the moon of the Mid Autumn Festival has been compared to a looking-glass, a jade rabbit, and so on. It seems that Chinese literature takes far more interest in the moon than in the sun.
The Mid-Autumn is a very important Chinese festival. It falls on the 15th day of August. A few days before the festival， everyone in the family will help to make the house clean and beautiful. Lanterns will be hung in front of the house.
On the evening there will be a big family dinner. People who work far away from their homes will try to come back for the union. After dinner， people will light the lanterns which are usually red and round. Children will play with their own toy lanterns happily.
At night the moon is usually round and bright. People can enjoy the moon while eating moon-cakes which are the special food for this festival. They can look back on the past and look forward to the future together. It is said that there was a dragon in the sky. The dragon wanted to swallow up the moon. To protect the frighten the dragon away.
Mid-Autumn Day is a traditional festival in China. Almost everyone likes to eat mooncakes on that day. Most families have a dinner together to celebrate the festival. A saying goes, “The moon in your hometown is almost always the brightest and roundest”. Many people who live far away from homes want to go back to have a family reunion. How happy it is to enjoy the moon cakes while watching the full moon with your family members.
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