IBC Celebrates Mid-Autumn (Mooncake Festival), 2019
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, is widely celebrated among the Chinese communities throughout the world. It is also celebrated among the Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean communities. It is the second most important festival after the Chinese New Year Celebration to the Chinese people. However, at the age of globalization and ICT, Mid-Autumn Festival is not just confined to Chinese Community but it has become a sort of global festival.
Mid-Autumn Festival is evolving with a rich and diverse story from a long tradition of Chinese culture. The history of the Mid-Autumn Festival goes back at the crux of the very rich and diverse Chinese civilization, one of the foremost civilizations of human history on earth. The Chinese people from ancient time believe a full moon is a symbol of peace, prosperity and family reunion. On the Mid-Autumn Festival night the moon is at its brightest and fullest, which is why the festival is also known as the “Reunion Day”.
There is a great significance of Mid-Autumn festival in terms of crops harvesting and family union among the communities. Roundness of the moon symbolizes completeness and togetherness. It is to be added that the festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, on the night of the full moon between early September and early October of the Gregorian calendar.
On the eve of Friday, September 13, 2019, the whole IBC family along with students, staff, volunteers, faculty members, overseas and local friends, Venerables and IBC Vice Rector celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival (Mooncake Festival) with many varieties of activities such as decorating IBC with various types of lanterns, walking and carrying colorful brightly lit lanterns around the IBC campus, playing games, evening refreshment and tea party, playing IBC theme song, Dhamma song, other songs and many such performances made the program meaningful, enjoyable and memorable.
Coincidentally on the same day it was the very important full moon, a full moon widely known as the Honey Full Moon (Madhu Purnima) or Honey Offering Festival in the subcontinent especially. Festival originates based on a story where Buddha is fed by a monkey with the honeycomb offering and an elephant offering fruits to the Buddha that occurred during Buddha’s tenth Vassa observance in Parileyya forest.
The day commemorates an occasion on which the Buddha retreated to the Parileyya forest to bring peace between two groups of quarrelling monks in a monastery in the Parileyya city according to several sources recorded in the Pali Canon.
The same day coincided an important Southern Thai festival known as Merit Making Festival of 10th Lunar Month as the festival is known in Thai as Ngan Boon Duen Sib. Most of the southern people regard the 10th Lunar Month Festival as a very important ritual.
The Tenth Lunar Month Festival is a Buddhist ceremony which is influenced by the Brahmanism and mixed with local belief where Buddhists express gratitude and obligation towards their departed ancestors and relatives through merit making on this special day.
On the significance of the such gathering of IBC family as a higher learning institution, Professor Kapila gave a brief talk. Ven. Zhen Yuan spoke on the history and significance of Mooncake Festival. And finally, Ven. Satyajit spoke on the history and the significance of the Honey Full Moon (Madhu Purnima) and Thai festival, the Tenth Lunar Month Festival or Ngan Boon Duen Sib.
Program was celebrated truly in an international atmosphere arranged by our international young students. Program MC, Ven. Dolma from India and Ven. Iddhijota from Myanmar began the celebration by paying homage to the Triple Gem. Then participants from each Buddhist traditions performed their chanting practices accordingly one after another.
We are truly thankful to every participants and guests for their precious time and support being with us and of course, to all the organizing committee members for their tremendous effort, support and contribution to make the Mooncake Festival a great successful.