Today is the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calender and on this date China celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Chinese character for Autumn is very interesting and it demonstrates really well the agricultural nature deeply rooted in Chinese society.
The right element of the this character is ‘grain’ or ‘crop’ (禾) and on the left we have the element ‘fire’ (火). In the Autumn farmers burn the field before sowing it again. This way they make sure there aren’t any locust eggs or other pests that might damage next year’s crop.
This holiday is also known as the Moon Festival because the moon is full and extremely bright this time of year. The traditional food of this holiday is the round moon cakes with many kind of sweet fillings but it is also customary to eat round fruits like apples, grapes, peaches, and so on. The only fruit which is not allowed is pear and that’s because its name in Chinese sounds like the word ‘to part’ or ‘to be separated’ (by the way, don’t ever share a pear with a Chinese person, regardless of what time of the year it is). The round moon on the other hand, signifies unity and time to be together with your family. It just happens to be that the character round ‘圆’ is part of the word ‘团圆’ which means to reunite.
So in honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival here is a nice collection of greeting cards gathered from the Chinese webosphere. Many of them features Chang E – a mythological character of Chinese folklore associated with the moon. The last one is an animated gif.
Feel Free to download and send them around.