Saturday, 6 September 2014

Mid-Autumn Festival History

History of Mid-Autumn Festival

Many Names of Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid Autumn Festival falls on August 15 of the lunar calendar of which most people called it as the Chinese Calendar.

This Festival , Mid-Autumn Festival or Zhong Qui Jie (中秋节)itself has many names such as
  1. Moon Festival (月节)
  2. Mooncake Festival
  3. Lantern Festival (灯笼节)
  4. Reunion Festival (团圆节)
  5. Harvest Moon Festival (月夕)
  6. Chinese Thanks Giving Festival
  7. 仲秋 (Mid-Autumn)
  8. 秋夕 (Autumn Eve)
  9. 八月节 (August Festival)
  10. 八月半 (Mid August)

Also Celebrated by
At the same time this festival is celebrated not only by Chinese all over the world but also by the :
  1. Japanese
  2. Koreans
  3. Vietnamese

Japanese Name of Mid-Autumn Festival

To the Japanese , the festival is known as :
In Karnataka : 月見 ,十五夜,中秋の名月
In Hiragana : つきみ, じゅうごや , ちゅうしゅうのめいげつ
In Romaji : Tsukimi , Juugoya , Chuujuu no meigetsu

Korean Name of Mid-Autumn Festival

To the Koreans, this festival is known as :
In Hangul :추석 , 한가위 , 중추절 , 가배일
In Hanja : 秋夕 , 한가위 , 仲秋節 , 嘉俳日
In Cyrillic : Chuseok , Hangawi ,Jungchujeol ,Gabaeil
In Braille : Ch'usŏk , Hankawi ,Chungch'uchŏl , Kapaeil

Vietnamese Name of Mid-Autumn Festival

To the Vietnamese, this festival is knowns as :
In chữ Quốc ngữ (Latin-based Vietnamese alphabet ) : Tết Trung Thu, Tết Trông Trăng
In chữ nôm : 節中秋 , 節����
In Latin : Children's Festival

Yuan Dynasty Mongol and Mid-Autumn Festival

This festival originated as early as about 3500 years , there is already this festival.
However, where history is of concern , it is around the near Yuan to Ming dynasty period of China.

The Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368 ) & the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) during this transition period where by the Chinese overthrew their Mongol masters and established the Ming Dynasty was said to be on this day of August 15 (八月十五) of the Lunar Calendar or what some called as Chinese Calendar.

Mongol's Yuan Dynasty

According to Historical Legends of this festival, during the Yuan Dynasty after the Mongols conquered the Song Dynasty , Life in China was very oppressive by the Mongol Rulers. They were harsh and brutal to the people. The people of China lived with resentments of the Mongol rule whom they perceived as barbarians and some even claimed that they had some bad odour too.

During the period of the Mongol rule , the Chinese always wanted to drive these barbarians out of their land. Not wanting to be governed by barbarians whom the Chinese perceived themselves as civilized and that rule under the Mongols has no sympathy for the people's poor sufferings, & with much other ill treatments by the Mongols, the Chinese were determined to overthrow the Mongols.

Patiently and secretly the Chinese waited for their chance and made several underground preparations. The Chinese operated and communicated among themselves sliently for this rebellion.

Mooncake as Medium of Communications

They needed a medium of communications as they cannot openly communicate face to face or using pigeons. Hence Zhu Yuan Zhang , this Farmer who become a monk and become the Rebel leader and who eventually become the Emperor of Ming Dynasty China, knowing that the Mongols never eat Mooncake at all distributed Mooncake into the capital on the pretext of telling the mongols that it is for well blessing wishes to the Yuan Emperor for longevity.

However, unknown to the Mongols, inside of the mooncake is stuffed with a message inside written in paper. This was how the Chinese communicated among themselves right in front of the eyes and nose of the Mongols and yet unknown and not caught by the Mongols.

Family began to visit one and another , family to family , village to village, city to city, town to towns and nation wide eventually across the whole of China and they all brought moon cake during their visits & all these under the very watchful eyes of the Mongols escaped their attention and suspicion all these time.

The Final Call

Finally came the time when all was ready and done for the ultimate showdown to give the Mongols a surprise rebellion to overthrow them.

The Final Call to the whole nation was needed and hence the final distribution of the mooncake on a national scale was distributed. Inside the mooncake throughout the whole entire china to all Chinese was written with this message : On the Night of August 15 when the Moon is full , we will overthrow the barbarians !

Indeed itself on August 15th , all families in the whole of China came out to look at the moon waiting for the moon to become full. Finally when the moon was full, they turned their attention to the curious Mongols who did not understand why is every single people around the entire nation all looking at the moon and they even thought there was some strange phenomenon or catastrophe going on relating to the moon, and the next thing that they the Mongols knew was that everyone around attacked them with everything they got.

The Ultimate Finale with the Mongol

This rebellion was so successful as the Mongols was totally caught off guard ! It was something so unexpected and they could not react in time. The rebellion was on a national scale ! All parts of China , all regions all directions & everywhere rebelled in all together at the same timing on the same day in all the individual locations against them.

This was an impossible to repelled and crushed and quelled rebellion for the Mongols !

The Leader of the rebellion lead the rebels not only to capture back China from the hands of the Mongols but even drive them back into their heartland of their own home country and eventually conquered Mongolia.

Afterall, Mongolia has long been a threat to China throughout history & while they are weak , & disorganize, it would be best to put an end to this historical threat for good !    

Extinct Mongolia brought back Life

Mongolia was hence wipe off from the surface of this world and existed no more until during the time of the soviet union of Russia, Mongolia broke free from Manchurian rule of Qing Dynasty China , reinstated and restored and regained their independence in the 1920s & was also a communist country together with Russia and China originally but finally became into a democracy country during the 1990s. 

Moral of the Story

Where History of Concern , this festival is a Victory and reclaim of rulership !
So what can we learn from the lesson of this history ?

The Moral of the story is :
1) Unity is Strength !
2) Never oppress the peasants !  
3) Violence and Vengeance begets more Violence and Vengeance !
4)  Integrate  with locals and respect the locals
5) It always pays to lend a helping hand and care for those in need
6) The pen is mightier than the words, so pay more attention to education and be literate 
7) Have a loving heart , have compassion & be sympathetic
8) If you Smell, use perfume 
9) learn to eat mooncake 
10) If something don't look correct , it is definitely not correct at all
11) Be always ready for the unexpected 
12) learn to anticipate others    

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