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Happy 2023 Mid Autumn Festival

Wishing my readers a Happy 2023 Mid Autumn Festival. Chinatown on this part of the year is now lit in a mid-autumn lantern livery similar to what we saw at Chinese new year earlier this year. I got about photographing the livery on street, and appreciating the festival which is based more on folklore than just the mooncakes we come to love.

Moreover, the legend of the festival originates from China. It is a popular story of the Mid-Autumn Festival is about the Chinese Moon Goddess- Chang’e Hou Yi.

Overview
Overview of the lanterns in the heart of Chinatown for this year. Happy 2023 Mid Autumn Festival!

The story goes that in the heart of ancient China, nestled among rolling hills and serene lakes, existed the Mid-Autumn Festival tradition. It had been celebrated for centuries. This magical event is also known as the Moon Festival, timed to the lunar days of the month where the moon is the fullest and brightest. It holds a special place in the hearts of the people for the night lantern walks and moon cake snacks which ensues. And in this year of the rabbit, it was destined to be an especially enchanting affair.

The main mid-autumn lantern at the Chinatown point junction
The main mid-autumn lantern at the Chinatown point junction.

Mid-Autumn Festival Legend

Also, the legend had it that the Mid-Autumn Festival began as a celebration of the harvest season. It is a joyful time when farmers rejoiced in the bountiful fruits of their labour. Additionally, it was also a time to pay homage to the moon, for it was believed that the moon’s radiant glow was at its most magnificent during this season.

Lit Bunnys in the livery of Chinese New year animal lanterns
Lit Bunnies in the livery of Chinese New year animal lanterns.

Moreover, in this year’s Lunar new year of the rabbit, the festival took on an added layer of significance. According to Chinese astrology, the rabbit symbolized grace, gentleness, and harmony. People believed that the rabbit’s presence would bring tranquility and unity to their lives, making it a year to cherish.

Close up of the family piece
Close up of the family lantern piece sitting in a large cocoon.

As the festival approached, families across China gathered under the moonlit sky, lanterns aglow, and tables laden with mooncakes. The cake is a sweet delicacy crafted in the shape of the full moon. Also, they would offer these mooncakes as gifts to friends and family, a symbol of unity and togetherness.

Family bonding with rabbits
Family bonding with rabbits.

But the most cherished tradition of all was the moon gazing. People would gather in open courtyards, parks, and riverbanks, staring up at the brilliant full moon. They shared stories of Chang’e, the legendary moon goddess who dwelled there, forever separated from her beloved Houyi, the archer. The light up of lanterns suspended over the roads here does signify the moon glow as the basis of the festival. It was a time to reflect on love, longing, and the enduring beauty of the moon.

Overhead lanterns
Overhead lanterns spanning over the roads of Chinatown.

Wrapping up

In the year of the rabbit, as families exchanged smiles and mooncakes, and as the moon cast its gentle glow upon the world, the Mid-Autumn Festival carried on its timeless tradition, weaving together the past, the present, and the promise of a harmonious future.

All in all, wishing you a Happy 2023 Mid Autumn Festival. Cheers.

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