Moon Festival


My informant, a Chinese-American discussed the Moon-Festival, a Chinese festival that takes place in Spring, during the largest full moon. According to my informant, when you look at the moon you see a rabbit sitting on a stool making an elixir. There is a love story behind this image that goes as follows: According to the legend the king was trying to make an elixir for longevity. Someone found this elixir for him, however his wife knew what longevity would do for a person, so she ingested it before he could. Instead of living forever, she started floating up to the moon with a rabbit (her pet), who followed her. The rabbit is supposedly attempting to make an elixir for her to come back down to earth, however he never has any progress or success. On the day when the Moon and the Earth are closest together is the day when these lovers are supposed to be closest together.

An important part of celebrating this holiday is carrying very brightly lit lanterns. One tradition is to write riddles on lanterns and to have other people try and guess what the answers are.  Making and giving family and friends moon cakes is also one of the main traditions of this festival. The sharing of round moon cakes between family members signifies the wholeness and unity of families.