Duration: 1st September – 30th September
Number of books: 7
Hosted by: Crazy Challenge Connection
End of summer traditionally brings celebrations for the harvest. This month, learn about the Chinese celebration.
1. Moon Festival | Harvest Moon Festival | Mid-Autumn Festival: This festival takes place on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Chinese lunar calendar. The celebration is associated with the full moon on this night, as well as the traditions of moon worship and moon gazing in Chinese culture. The moon festival is the second grandest festival in China, eclipsed only by Chinese New Year.
Read a book that takes place in China OR read a book that centers around a festival, fair, or some kind of gala occasion; tell us the event. – Winter by Marissa Meyer
2. The festival celebrates three fundamental concepts that are closely connected:
• Gathering, such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting crops for the festival. It’s said the moon is the brightest and roundest on this day which means family reunion.
• Thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions
• Praying (asking for conceptual or material satisfaction), such as for babies, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future
Read a book whose title contains a verb that ends in “ing” OR read a book that focuses on families and family relationships. – Water Bound by Christine Feehan
3. The festival was a time to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. The festival is celebrated with many cultural or regional customs, such as burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang’e or performing dragon and lion dances.
☾ Read a book featuring a reunion of some kind; tell us what
OR read a book with a character you would describe as a peacemaker or diplomat; tell us who. – Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
4. A notable part of celebrating the holiday is the carrying of brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, or floating sky lanterns. Today the lantern has come to symbolize the festival itself. Another tradition involving lanterns is to write riddles on them and have other people try to guess the answers.
Read a book with a lantern (of any type) on the cover; post the cover OR read a book in which an author’s first and last initial can be found in LANTERN. – The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
5. Making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. The mooncake is a profound cultural tradition, symbolizing a spiritual or mystical feeling. Thus, the sharing and eating of round mooncakes among family members during the week of the festival signifies the completeness and unity of families. In some areas of China, there is a tradition of making mooncakes during the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The senior person in that household would cut the mooncakes into pieces and distribute them to each family member, signifying family reunion.
☾ Read a book involving religious or spiritual themes OR read a book where a family shares a significant meal together. – Hidden Currents by Christine Feehan
6. Mooncakes typically measure 5 -10 cm (2 – 4 in) across and up to 5 cm (2 in.) deep. Named after the moon goddess (Chang’e), who is said to make this kind of cake, they have a pastry skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling. Round mooncakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky at the Mid-Autumn Festival. Imperial chefs have made some as large as a few metres in radius, with its surface pressed with designs of Chang’e, cassia trees, or the Moon-Palace. One tradition is to pile 13 mooncakes on top of each other to mimic a pagoda, the number 13 being chosen to represent the 13 months in a full lunar year.
☾ Read the 13th book in a series OR read a book with any Chinese symbol on its cover; post the cover.
7. An important part of the festival celebration is moon worship. Since ancient times, there have been many legends about the moon in China. The moon is symbolized as being holy, pure, and noble. In Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness. A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family. The moon’s round shape also corresponds to the cyclic concepts of Taoism.
☾ Read a book with a full moon on its cover; post the cover OR read a book whose title contains one of the following words: PURE, FULL, HOLY, ROUND, UNITY, or FAMILY (reasonable variations are acceptable – i.e. purity, union).