This year, PA College Prep celebrated the Chinese Moon Festival by arranging home-made moon cakes as gifts to thank our Police and Fire Departments for all their hard work. The City of West Covina’s Mayor Pro Tem, Tony Wu, along with PA College Prep Director, Kitty Yue, are shown in the photos presenting the home-made moon cakes to Police Officer Sergeant Wayne Worley and the rest of the West Covina Police Department.
When is the Moon Festival Celebrated?
The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival in China after the Chinese New Year, falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest. It is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season.
The Legend Behind the Fest
The Moon Festival is rooted in many different myths. Legend traces the story to a hero named Hou Yi, who lived during a time when there were 10 suns in the sky. This caused people to die, so Hou Yi shot down nine of the suns and was given an elixir by the Queen of Heaven to make him immortal. But Hou Yi didn’t drink the elixir because he wanted to remain with his wife, Chang’e (pronounced Chung-err). So, he told her to watch over the potion.
One day a student of Hou Yi tried to steal the elixir from her, and Chang’e drank it to foil his plans. Afterward, she flew to the moon, and people have prayed to her for fortune ever since. She’s presented with a variety of food offerings during the Moon Fest, and festival-goers swear that they can spot Chang’e dancing on the moon during the festival.
What Happens During the Celebration?
The Moon Festival is also an occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to watch the full moon, eat moon cakes and sing moon poems. Together, the full moon, the legend, the family gatherings and the poems recited during the event make the festival a great cultural observance. That is why the Chinese are so fond of the Moon Festival.
The Moon Cake is the special food of Mid-Autumn Festival. On that day, people sacrifice moon cakes to the moon as an offering and eat them for celebration. Moon cakes come in various flavors according to the region. The moon cakes are round, symbolizing the reunion of a family, so it is easy to understand how the eating of moon cakes under the round moon can evoke longing for distant relatives and friends. Nowadays, people present moon cakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life.
From everyone at PA College Prep, we’d like to wish you a Happy Moon Festival!