Why is the Rabbit synonymous with the Mid-Autumn Festival? The legend behind the Mid Autumn Festival surround the story of a handsome couple: Chang Er and Hou-yi. Hou Yi was the ancient hero who, under the order of the Gods, shot down nine of the ten suns that suddenly appeared in the skies. After Hou Yi successfully completed this task, he met and married a beautiful young lady named Chang Er.
The Gods were very pleased with Hou Yi, and rewarded him with an elixir of life so the he and his beautiful wife could have immortality. However, an evil man found out about the elixir, murdered Hou Yi for the elixir. Chang Er was devastated by her husband’s death and retaliated by drinking all of the elixir. Legend has it that, after drinking the elixir, she floated away into the skies towards the Moon with her pet rabbit in her arms, and this is how the Rabbit became synonymous with this festival.
Celebrating Mid- Autumn festival or commonly known as now as the Mooncake festival is still very popular today. Food that is synonymous with this festival are the mooncakes and pomelos. Pomelos are fruits harvested in Autumn in some parts of China and they symbolize plentiful and abundance.
It is a tradition to gift your friends, employer, clients and relatives some mooncakes just before Mid-Autumn festival. Moon gazing is also a part of the ritual of celebrating this festival. Besides the moon gazing and eating mooncakes, children are given paper lanterns to carry around and play within the playground or garden.
A Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all!
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