Fly me to the moon (Happy Mid Autumn Festival 2010)

The Mid Autumn Moon Festival celebrations (called Tsukimi in Japan) is a time when families come together to enjoy traditional food; autumnal decorations and lanterns; music recitals using Chinese instruments ; the retelling of traditional tales; and, singing of poetry.  Most families are not quite so thorough in their celebrations; however, in the greater community you can find these types of activities related to the festival.    The festival, which celebrates the first full moon in autumn (usually in mid September) is full of historical significance and tradition, but can also be appreciated in a simple and meaningful way.

So stop by T&T, pick up some moon cakes, light a lantern on your patio or balcony, enjoy the moon and maybe even read your favourite traditional Chinese poetry aloud.

Happy Mid Autumn Festival 2010!

More about the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon festival takes place on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month when farmers celebrate the end of summer harvest season. It is a time when families gather for meals and cultural events and presentations. The moon cake is a popular tradition and many Chinese families around the world enjoy regional customs such as barbecues, sitting under and watching the full moon, carrying lanterns, planting Mid-Autumn trees and lighting lanterns on towers.

Traditionally poetry has been associated with this festival. If you are fortunate,  you will have the opportunity to hear some traditional recitation of poetry. It sounds like a cross between speaking and singing.

The sunset clouds are gathered far away, it’s clear and cold,
The Milky Way is silent, I turn to the jade plate.
The goodness of this life and of this night will not last for long,
Next year where will I watch the bright moon?

The following Li Bai poem and its related song is popular.

Drinking Alone Under The Moon
Li Po (AKA Li Bai)

Among the flowers from a pot of wine
I drink alone beneath the bright moonshine.
I raise my cup to invite the moon, who blends
Her light with my shadow and we’re three friends.

The moon does not know how to drink her share;
In vain my shadow follows me here and there.
Together with them for the time I stay
And make merry before springs spend away.

I sing to the moon to linger with my song;
My shadow disperses as I dance along.
Sober, we three remain cheerful and gay;
Drunken, we part and each goes his way.

Our friendship will outshine all earthly love;
Next time we’ll meet beyond the stars above.

What do you think about this topic?  You may leave us a comment using the comment function below or by visiting our Facebook page.  We would love to hear from you!

What do you think about this topic?  You may leave us a comment using the comment function below or by visiting our Facebook page.  We would love to hear from you!


Chinese Opera Presentation of Li Bai poem “Bringing in the Wine”

More Chinese poems about autumn

Traditional Chinese costumes, like those seen in traditional moon viewing artwork

Video presentation about classical Chinese poetry

Translating Chinese Poetry

The Moon Festival is full of legendary stories. Legend says that Chang Er flew to the moon, where she remained and may be seen dancing during the Moon Festival.

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