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With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Mid-Autumn Festival 2011 - The Hare / Jade Rabbit


Today, the 15th day of the 8th lunar month is the Mid-Autumn Festival also known as Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival.

I'd like to wish everyone who are celebrating this festival, a Happy Mid-Autumn!

Many of us are familiar with the lanterns and mooncakes during this festival. Last year, I wrote about pomelo fruits, water caltrops, lotus seeds and mooncakes:
  1. Mid-Autumn Festival 2010 - Pomelo Fruits (link here)
  2. Mid-Autumn Festival 2010 - Water Caltrops, also The Old Man of the Moon (link here)
  3. Mid-Autumn Festival 2010 - Lotus Seeds and Mooncakes (link here)

In my 2009 blog post, I have wrote about the the origin of mooncakes and the legend of the Moon Fairy, Lady Chang'e (the link is here). Do you know that she has a companion, the Jade Rabbit?

“Mid-Autumn Festival 2011 and The Hare / Jade Rabbit”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on Sept 12th, 2011.

"The brilliant light of the moon shines upon the earth."


The Mid-Autumn Festival began more than 2,000 years ago in China with prayers to the gods and sacrifices to the moon. It coincided with harvesting season of autumn when people held post-harvests feasts.

During this festival, we waited for the moon to appear before we start the prayers. Usually it would be after 10pm or so. On a clear night, we would gaze up at the moon and look for markings that appeared like the Jade Rabbit, also known as Moon Rabbit who is always pounding  with a mortar and pestle making the elixir of immortality. Jade Rabbit lives on the moon with Lady Chang'e, the moon fairy.

Once upon a time, 3 fairy sages decided to test the rabbit, fox and monkey. They disguised themselves as pathetic old men begging for food. The fox and monkey gave willingly but the poor rabbit had nothing to give, so it offered itself  by jumping into the fire. Touched by the rabbit's virtuous act, the sages sent him to live in the moon. When earth was hit by a plague, Chang'e sent Jade Rabbit to help, disguised as a young lady. During her outings, Jade Rabbit would ride on different animals, e.g. deer, phoenix or tiger. After the plague was successfully wiped out, the people expressed their gratitude by making replicas of Jade Rabbit to worship during the festival. Until today, Jade Rabbit is still remembered and replicated in mooncakes and children's toys. It is depicted as having a human body and rabbit head, sometimes riding on various vehicles or animals like the deer, phoenix or tiger.

My question: Would you like to have a gulp of the elixir of immortality and why?



In Malaysia, other races are invited join in the celebrations. The above photo was taken at a Mid-Autumn Festival night party last year. Colourful lighted lanterns were paraded during the walkabout.


Sometimes, there are lion dances or dragon dances.


This year, I am very much put-off by the high cost of moon cakes which average to about RM 13.00 or more for the traditional lotus paste with single egg yolk. A mooncake with tiramisu filling is ridiculously priced at the cost of 2 slices of tiramisu cake. I think the mooncake is overpriced with a lot of money spent unecessarily on fanciful packaging, advertisements and promotions. The prices are the same and there is no competitive pricing among different vendors. Why force consumers to pay extra for painted wooden/metal/plastic boxes that end up as garbage anyway? I choose to buy selectively.

Lastly, wishing you a BOUNTIFUL HARVEST from everything that you grow!

Updated at 1:23pm:
Coincidentally, today, 12th Sept was also the birth date of the late Leslie Cheung. Below is a video of him singing Theresa Teng's famous song, "The Moon Represents My Heart". Many people who understands mandarin know how to sing this simple but beautiful Taiwanese love song. It is a song we usually sing to that special someone in our lives. My DH sang this song to me on our wedding day many moons ago.

Leslie's fans and those who know him will surely enjoy this. In his opening speech, he is speaks in Cantonese, my mother tongue and dialect.


16 comments:

  1. Looks like a lot of fun and unfortunately those places always charge a lot of money for everything.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  2. I love the story of the jade rabbit.
    I also love mooncakes (though I have only begun to enjoy them in the past few years). This year, I have found that many places sell smaller ones that are very reasonably priced. It's such a decadent treat though - you would never thing they were such a fattening treat. My favorite is the lotus paste - with egg yolk of course.

    that's a lovely disply of lanterns at the mall. So festive.

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  3. 月光光,照地堂,蝦仔你乖乖瞓落床, 聽朝阿媽要趕插秧囉,阿爺睇牛去上山崗...

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  4. What an interesting fable and celebration. Loved the story, and the idea of eating a moon cake sounds yummy. Of course, we have nothing like that here. Love the lanterns! No, I would not want to be immortal.

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  5. So Happy Mooncake Festival to you and my other Chinese friends. I know of the mooncakes here too, but not a festival. Maybe our Chinese-Filipino countrymen also have that, i just am not familiar. I haven't heard of the Jade Rabbit story too, so thanks i know now! May you be fully blessed, and i hope to taste some mooncakes as well.

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  6. Great story and moon cakes sounds delicious! Those lanterns are elegant and quite beautiful!

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  7. Autumn, with the harvest, is such a nice time to celebrate. Your photos sre so beautiful!

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  8. Wonderful story!
    I remeber playing lantern with my neighbours too when young time! ahhahaha...
    2 tiramisu price for a mooncake? That's really radiculous!

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  9. 中秋节快乐. Nice stories written and pixz. Visited your previous post on Change's and the traditional email via mooncakes haha. Bananaz yet to become Jade Rabbit just reached Golden Rabbit haha.

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  10. 月圆圆,人甜甜。祝你越来越有钱。
    yuè yuányuán, rén tiántián。zhù nǐ yuè lái yuè yǒu qián。

    月光光,人双双。祝你心情多放宽。
    yuè guāngguāng, rén shuāngshuāng。 zhù nǐ xīn qíng duō fàng kuān。

    贵人齐,小人离。祝你大利又大吉。
    guì rén qí, xiǎo rén lí。zhù nǐ dà lì yòu dà jí。

    祝你与家人,中秋节快乐。
    zhù nǐ yú jiā rén, Zhōng qiūjié kuàilè。

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  11. Happy festival to you. Thanks for visiting me at Blotanical. I've only been to Malaysia twice but have loved it.

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  12. I like this song. This year, my only relativer is in Malaysia, so i don't buy moon cakes. Too expensive,

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  13. Happy Mid-Autumn!!! My SIL was in KL over the weekend on a food trip. I wonder if she brought home some moon cake. Moon cake with tiramisu sounds strange but intriguing. We do have moon cake here but the really good ones have to be purchased in China Town which is far from where we live. I'm not sure I would want to be immortal. How sad to have to experience all the deaths in your family.

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  14. Happy Mooncake Festival to you too. Looks like Bananaz is singing here too.

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  15. Well, my childhood days of staying up late and playing with lanterns are over, but I still enjoy eating mooncakes (especially durian-flavoured ones).

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  16. oops..I suddenly realized that I just knew the answer on my guessing game after reading this post. :D The Filipino-Chinese community in our country also celebrates the festival through mooncakes and parties especially by playing "Tiyong Tiu"...it's a dice game with raffle prizes. The basic rule is that the top winner must get the most number of "fours" by "throwing" six dices on a bowl. :) my father won the grand prize last week!!! yeehah!

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Words are like the voice of the heart... Confucius

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