Moon in Chinese Celestial
The choice of the festival's theme -- celebrating
the glories and mysteries of the moon -- was a natural. Along
with the sun, the moon has long been an object of human curiosity
and worship. "It is probable that sun and moon were early
held to be deities and that they were the first visible objects
of worship," according to the book "Sketches of
the History of Man." To the most ancient ancestors of
the Chinese, the sun and the moon were considered the "chief
objects of veneration," according to records dating to
the Han dynasty emperor Wu Di (157-87 B.C.).
In ancient Asian mythology, there is a strong
relationship between the moon and water. The moon is said
to regulate reservoirs and supplies of water. There is a suggestion
that the moon produces fertility and freshness in the soil.
The moon's role in bountiful harvests is widely recognized
during autumns around the world.
In Chinese celestial cosmology, the moon
represents the female principle, or yin. During ancient autumn
Moon Festivals, women took center stage because the moon is
considered feminine. Only women took part in Moon Festival
rituals on the night of the full moon. Altars would be set
up in households, and when the full moon appeared, women would
make offerings of incense, candles, fruit, flowers, and mooncakes.
The enduring legend of the Moon Goddess,
Chang O (Chang-E in other transliterations), reflects the
feminine principle of yin, as opposed to the masculine principle
of yang, which is symbolized by the sun.
Read about The
Origin and The
Moon Fairy Lady