Happy Moon Festival!!! 中秋節快樂!!!
The Chinese here was written by 張青史, while the English was written by me. This version of "Taiwanese Holiday Stories" (台灣節日故事) was published by Windmill Illustrated 風車圖書 in 2012.
(15th Day of the 8th Lunar Month)
農曆八月十五日, 是我國傳統的中秋佳節. 這時候是一年秋季的中期, 所以稱作中秋. 農民曆裡, 一年分為四季, 每季又分孟, 仲, 季三期, 因此中秋也稱作仲秋. 八月十五日的月亮又比其他月分的月亮更圓, 更明亮, 所以也稱為秋節, 仲秋節, 八月節, 女兒節或團圓節, 是全國眾多民族共同的傳統文化節日, 也是僅次於春節的第二大傳統節日. The 15th day of the 8th lunar month is the Mid-Autumn Festival, our country’s traditional holiday. This time falls within the middle of autumn every year, so it is called Mid-Autumn. In the lunar calendar, a year is divided into four seasons, and each season is divided into periods called “Meng,” “Jong,” and “Ji”. Because of this, Mid-Autumn Festival is also called “Autumn Jong.” During the 15th day of the 8th lunar month the moon is fuller and brighter than in other months, so this day is also called Autumn Festival, Autumn Jong Festival, 8th Month Festival, Daughter’s Festival, or Reunion Festival. It is a holiday unique to our country’s people and culture, and after Chinese New Year it is the most important traditional festival.
“中秋”一詞最早見於”周禮”一書, 而真正形成全國性的節日則是在唐朝. 周代在中秋夜要舉行迎寒和祭月. 祭品中, 月餅和西瓜是絕對不能少的. 在月下, 將月亮神像放在月亮的方向, 點燃紅燭, 全家祭拜, 燃後由當家主婦切開團圓月餅. 切的份數要先算好全家的人數, 不論在家裡或在外地的, 都要計算在內, 不能多切也不能少切; 大小也要一樣. The earliest record of the phrase “Mid-Autumn” occurs in the book “Jhou Li,” and the earliest description of this nationwide holiday goes back to the Tang Dynasty. During the Jhou Period they held a “welcome the winter and worship the moon” activity, and during this activity they made numerous offerings of moon cakes and watermelons. During the following month, it was thought that the moon god was present on the moon, and they lit red candles, the whole family made offerings, and afterward the family was reunited and the women would cut the moon cakes. Before they cut the cakes they had to calculate the number of people in their family, regardless of whether these people were in the house or in some other place. Everyone had to be counted, it was not permitted to cut too many or too few pieces, and the pieces had to be the same size.
在北宋, 八月十五夜, 不論貧父老少, 都要穿上成人的衣服, 焚香拜月, 祈求月亮神的保佑. 南宋時, 民間以月餅相互餽贈. 明, 清以來, 中秋節的風俗更加盛行, 許多地方形成放天燈, 走月亮, 舞火龍等特殊的風俗. During the Northern Song Period, on the night of the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, no matter one’s wealth or age, all had to wear adult clothes, make offerings to the moon, and seek the moon god’s protection. During the Southern Song Period, people gave moon cakes to each other. After the arrival of the Ming and Ching dynasties, the customs surrounding Mid-Autumn Festival became more firmly established. In many places they hung lanterns, strolled beneath the moon, engaged in the “fire dragon dance” and other special customs.
台灣早期在中秋節流行吃月餅, 柚子, 闔家團圓賞月, 最近十多年來, 則盛行在這一天夜晚舉行烤肉, 大街小巷, 香味四溢, 令人垂涎三尺. 說不定哪一天, 人們會把”中秋節”稱作”烤肉節”. From the earliest times it has been fashionable to eat moon cakes in Taiwan during Mid-Autumn Festival, and also to eat pomeloes and walk with one’s reunited family beneath the moon. In the past few decades it has become popular to barbeque during the evening on this day, and from every street and alley comes the mouthwatering smell of food cooking. It may be that one day people will call Mid-Autumn Festival “Barbecue Day.”
台灣從前流傳著”偷著蔥, 嫁好尪; 偷著菜, 嫁好婿”的諺語, 因此, 未婚女子會在中秋節晚上去別人的菜園偷拔蔥或蔬菜, 只要成功了, 表示很快會嫁個如意郎君. 這種說法其實沒有科學根據, 而且偷拔菜是違法行為, 所以現在已經不流行了. In Taiwan has also persisted the “steal an onion, marry well, steal a vegetable, marry a good husband” superstition. Because of this, on the evening of Mid-Autumn Festival unmarried women will sneak into other people’s gardens and steal onions or [other] vegetables. If they succeed, it means that they will soon marry their “Mr. Right.” This superstition has no scientific basis, and it is also bad to steal vegetables, so this behavior is not so fashionable now.
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