Legend has it that an archer hero named Hou Yi was rewarded an elixir of immortality after shooting down nine out of ten suns which ravaged the land with drought and disaster. However, when Hou Yi’s apprentice, Feng Meng, attempted to steal the elixir, Hou Yi’s wife, Chang’e tried to save the elixir by drinking it, which made her immortal and she floated to the moon, never to be seen by her beloved husband again. After learning what had happened to Chang’e, Hou Yi prepared a feast on this day every year, when the moon is believed to be the fullest, in hope of catching a glimpse of his wife’s shadow.
However, the true origin of Mid-Autumn Festival is not known for certain, history records show that moon-worshipping practices began over 3,000 years ago in the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BC).
But the festival only became an official celebration in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) when ancient emperors of China would host a feast to make offerings to deities and the moon in celebration of the year’s harvest.
After the Tang Dynasty, Mid-Autumn Festival also became a time of the year for the emperor to reward his officials for their hard work and contributions.
Over time, it evolved into a festival of many traditions: to give thanks to the moon, pray for better luck, fortune and fertility, and reunite with the family to celebrate and admire the moon in its full glory.
Some of the more common activity seen in Singapore would be having Moon Cakes with families or friends during the night of Mid-Autumn and often served with tea or wine and for kids would be carrying around their lovely Lanterns.
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Happy Mid-Autumn Festival Again and May the round moon bring you a happy family and a successful future.