Mid-Autumn Celebration 2020
Reported By: Hong Mei Yue
This was the second time I participated in the mid-autumn celebration of IBC. It was special because we were celebrating at the IBC compound near the pond surrounded by nature. I remember last year we celebrated in the big classroom and it was a little bit different from this year. This year the evening celebration progressed with chanting, dharma talks, songs and performances by students from different countries. Now I have more knowledge about different traditions and cultures. It is an honor for me to live and study at IBC. The Mid-Autumn Celebration is based on our Chinese tradition. Here I would like to share a story about the legend of Chang’e, the moon lady. I guess everyone knows this story too!
Chang ‘e was a beautiful lady who married an excellent archer named Hou Yi. At that time, there were ten suns in the sky. The suns were burning the earth and people were dying. The archer, Hou Yi, decided to shoot at the suns. Nine suns were shot down and the people on the earth were saved. The Queen of heaven thanked Hou Yi and in gratitude she gave him a bottle of elixir that could make him immortal. Although Hou Yi wanted to be immortal, he loved Chang’e more than gaining immortality. Soon Hou Yi became famous and had a lot of students. One of his students Pang Meng was looking for a chance to steal the elixir. In an attempt to prevent Pang Meng’s theft, Chang ‘e drank the elixir since she couldn’t defeat him. Hou Yi was very sad after he heard the news. Chang ‘e became the goddess of the moon. Hou Yi wished his wife could come back to him so he made an offering to the moon. Since then to remember Chang’e, Chinese people throughout all the world offer fruits and moon-shaped desserts called moon cakes to the moon. This is the legend of the origin of the mid-autumn celebration.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is known as Mooncake Festival. All our families reunite and gather together on this day. In fact, Buddhism and the Mid-Autumn Festival also have a deep origin and connection. Mid-Autumn Festival is acknowledged on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month. It is the most perfect day of the year. It also represents the complete wisdom of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
This year the Mid-Autumn Celebration is especially memorable for me. In this celebration, all of us are united together like one big family. We play, laugh, and joke together. I like how all of my friends suspend their lanterns from the branches of the trees. It’s incredibly gorgeous and precious!
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