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In celebration of the mid-autumn festival, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, in collaboration with the Boston Dance Troupe, Berklee College of Music, the sisters of Kappa Phi Lambda and the brothers of Pi Delta Psi fraternity will be hosting a gala night filled with cultural performances of the different cultures that observe this holiday. The gala will be on September 30th at 7:00pm in the Fenway Center. Tickets are available for $5 at Blackman auditorium or online through myneu.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the moon festival, is a harvest festival that takes place annually on the 15th of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar; it has been celebrated for over 3,000 years mainly by Chinese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese people. Traditional customs include lighting lanterns, dragon dances, burning incense and gathering with the family to consume traditionally round pastries known as mooncakes.
This traditional festival is based on different stories and characters of Chinese mythology that revolve around the moon. One particular story is that of Chang’e the wife of Houyi, a famous and powerful archer who was able to shoot down any threat and enemy of mankind. Legend says that during that period of time, there were ten suns that took turns circling the earth, but on one occasion all of the suns approached earth simultaneously, making it unbearable to live. The emperor commanded him to shoot down all but one of the suns and Hou Yi proceeded with the orders, thus saving earth.
The emperor rewarded him the the elixir of eternal life, which the emperor advised against taking immediately and rather prepare himself and fast before taking it; Houyi hid the pill at home. Chang’e however, found this pill which had a beam of light coming out from, and took the pill immediately; she started to float just as her husband walked in and tried to chase after his wife but was unable to stop her as she kept elevating towards the moon.
Once she reached the moon she found a hare which was already there, she coughed out part of the pill and commanded the hare to pound another pill so that she can return to her husband. Houyi built a palace in the sun known as Yang (the sun and male), and Chang’e was known as Yin (the moon and the female principle).
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