China observes the Moon Festival

Written By: By Eric Biegon in Beijing, China
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China is known for its fidelity to time-honored traditions. The Asian giant to this day is credited with a wealth of traditions. These traditions in many ways outweigh those of other countries.

One distinguishing characteristic of the Chinese people, is their devotion to observe changing weather conditions. This tradition has been passed on many generations.

Even though modernity defines the present day China, ancient traditions appear deep-rooted and have a grip in the society. However, every tradition practiced here has a symbolic significance to the Chinese people. Indeed, these customs are not easy to shed off.

Currently, there are seven known public holidays in China. They include the New Year, the Spring Festival, Tomb-Sweeping day, Labour Day, Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National day celebrations.

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So far, the first five holidays have been observed. This week, the sixth and second last festival of the year, the Mid-Autumn festival also known as the Moon Festival, is being observed.

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Just like the other holidays, the Moon festival is of great significance to the Chinese. In fact, major Chinese cities have been deserted as almost all Chinese citizens’ travel home to be with their families on this occasion. Government offices, schools, banks and private business premises, for instance, close business owing to minimal or no activity at all.

At an event organized by the Beijing Service Bureau for Different Missions in Chaoyang District, a member of China’s ruling party, the Communist Party of China, who graced the occasion affirmed this position.

“Families get together on this day and enjoy the moon and affection between family members.” He said

The event was held at Dong Yue Temple and a series of activities had been lined up other than speeches from prominent people. Yet every activity is directed at the moon.

To a number of passionate devotees of this ritual, the moon symbolizes great harvest. The Mid-Autumn Festival easily translates to harvest celebrations to them.

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“Although traditions have changed over time with modernity setting in, the attachment to the Moon Festival remains the same. It is about our well-being. It is a time to look back at what we have achieved. But it is also about our togetherness.” One Chinese government official said.

Others hold the view that this is a good time for gathering, such as family and friends coming together. They argue that the full moon presents them with an opportunity to experience family reunion.

Yet to many others it is a moment of thanksgiving through prayers to the Supreme deity. Special prayers are made during this time such as for blessings to have children, spouses, long life and or for a good future.

What’s more, young men and women in relationships hold the festival so dear and they use the occasion to make their vows to each other. To others, it’s an opportunity to propose partnership or marriage. All these done under the beaming moonlight.

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It technically touches every member and aspect of the Chinese society. No one feels excluded or detached.

During the weeklong celebrations, mooncakes are the order of the day. They are the hallmark of this festival. In Chinese culture the round shape signifies completeness.

But aside from its traditional significance to the Chinese, the Beijing-based government officials always use the occasion to outline government agenda. A key feature of this endeavor however regards China’s push for globalization. The officials expressed President Xi Jinping administration’s commitment to full realization of dreams especially espoused in his government sponsored Belt and Road economic framework.

Under this platform, the officials argue that member countries will realize steady economic growth in the spirit of a shared future. They hailed the initiative as best ever that will especially uplift living standards and alleviate biting poverty in developing countries of Africa.

Twitter @EricBiegon

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