15th day of the 8th Moon – FULL MOON

The September moon is known as… Harvest Moon, Wine Moon, Singing Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Haligmonath (Holy Month), Witumanoth (Wood Month), Moon When Deer Paw the Earth.

HARVEST MOON

We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God’s almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft, refreshing rain.

He only is the maker
Of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower,
He lights the evening star;
The winds and waves obey him,
By him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, his children,
He gives our daily bread.

We thank thee then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer
For all thy love imparts,
And what thou most desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.

Refrain:
All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above;
Then thank the Lord,
O thank the Lord,
For all his love.

Harvest is from the Anglo-Saxon word hærfest, "Autumn". It then came to refer to the season for reaping and gathering grain and other grown products. The full moon nearest the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest Moon. So in ancient traditions Harvest Festivals were traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon. This moon is the full moon which falls in the month of September

In Britain, thanks have been given for successful harvests since pagan times. The celebrations on this day usually include singing hymns, praying, and decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food in the festival known as Harvest Festival or Harvest Home or Harvest Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving. In British churches, chapels, and schools people bring in food from the garden, the allotment or farm. The food is often distributed among the poor and senior citizens of the local community, or used to raise funds for the church, or charity.

Meanwhile in china 2500 years ago:

   Houyi was an immortal, while Chang’e was a beautiful young girl, working in the Jade Emperor‘s Palace as the attendant to the Queen Mother of the West (wife of the Jade Emperor), just before her marriage. One day, Houyi aroused the jealousy of the other immortals, who then slandered him before the Jade Emperor. Houyi and his wife, Chang’e, were subsequently banished from heaven, and forced to live by hunting on earth. He became a famous archer.

Now at this time, there were 10 suns, in the form of Three-legged birds, residing in a mulberry tree in the eastern sea; each day one of the sun birds would be rostered to travel around the world on a carriage, driven by Xihe (deity) the ‘mother’ of the suns. One day, all 10 of the suns circled together, causing the earth to burn. Emperor Yao, the Emperor of China, commanded Houyi to shoot down all but one of the suns. Upon the completion of his task, the Emperor rewarded Houyi with a pill that granted eternal life, and advised him: "Make no haste to swallow this pill; first prepare yourself with prayer and fasting for a year"

Houyi took the pill home and hid it under a rafter, while he began healing his spirit. While Houyi was healing his spirit, Houyi was summoned again by the emperor. Chang’e, noticing a white beam of light beckoning from the rafters, discovered the pill, which she swallowed. Immediately, she found that she could fly. At that moment, Houyi returned home, and, realizing what had happened, began to reprimand her. Chang’e flew out the window into the sky.With bow in hand, Houyi sped after her, and the pursuit continued halfway across the heavens. Finally, Houyi had to return to the Earth because of the force of the wind. Chang’e reached the moon, and breathless, she coughed. Part of the pill fell out from her mouth. Now, the hare was already on the moon, and Chang’e commanded the animal to make another pill from it, so that she could return to earth to her husband.

As of today, the hare is still pounding herbs, trying to make the pill. As for Houyi, he built himself a palace in the sun as "Yang" (the male principle), with Chang’e as "Yin" (the female principle). Once a year, on the 15th day of the full moon, Houyi visits his wife. That is why, that night, the moon is full and beautiful.

only a few hundred years ago . . . . According to a widespread folk tale the Mid-Autumn Festival commemorates an uprising in China against the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty (12801368) in the 14th century. As group gatherings were banned, it was impossible to make plans for a rebellion. Noting that the Mongols did not eat mooncakes, Liu Bowen of Zhejiang Province, advisor to the Chinese rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang, came up with the idea of timing the rebellion to coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival. He sought permission to distribute thousands of moon cakes to the Chinese residents in the city to bless the longevity of the Mongol emperor. Inside each cake, however, was inserted a piece of paper with the message: "Kill the Mongols on the 15th day of the 8th Moon"  On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), under Zhu. Henceforth, the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated with moon cakes on a national level.

                Chang'e_and_jade_rabbit
 
 
 

 

 

And no Mid Autumn Festival can be complete without enjoying some moon cake under the moonlight!

 

Moon Cake with Adzuki Bean

[A small brown bean similar to Mung Beans ]

 

Ingredients (filling):

• 500g adzuki bean, soaked 2 hours and strained
• 200g brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Ingredients (pastry):

• 200g plain flour
• 1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
• 100ml syrup (take from cooking 40g brown sugar in 100ml water)
• 50ml vegetable cooking oil
• 2 egg yolks, beaten

Preparation:

  1. Put adzuki bean in a deep saucepan with 1 litre of water. Bring to a boil on high heat then simmer it on low for about 1.5 hours, or till husk is detached from the bean.
  2. Mash the bean with a wooden spoon or blend it with a food processor then run it through a sieve to get rid of remaining husk.
  3. Sieve the bean paste through muslin cloth to drain away excessive water.
  4. Place the mashed bean back in the saucepan, and add in the sea salt, vegetable oil and brown sugar. Cook on low heat, and stir constantly till the mashed bean is thick and pasty.
  5. Remove from heat and place bean paste in a large bowl to cool. Divide paste into 13 to 14 balls.
  6. Set the oven on 400ºF/200ºC (180ºC for fan oven).
  7. Sift flour and dried yeast into a large mixing bowl.
  8. Make a dry well in the middle of the flour, and pour mixture of syrup and vegetable oil into the well.
  9. Stir it slowly to mix well then roll lightly with your hands till the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  10. Separate the dough into 13 or 14 parts, each weighing roughly 25 grams. Roll each into a round-shaped thin pastry dough, fill it with the adzuki bean paste ball, and wrap it up carefully.
  11. Sprinkle a thin layer of flour into the moon cake mould, press the filled dough firmly into the mould to get the shape of the moon cake then remove from the mould.
  12. Repeat with the rest of the dough and adzuki bean paste.
  13. Place the ready-to-bake moon cakes in a baking tray, brush a layer of egg yolk to coat the surface of each cake and place the tray on the middle deck of the oven.
  14. Bake for about 30 minutes, till the surface turns golden brown.

receipe from www.knowingfood.com

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One thought on “15th day of the 8th Moon – FULL MOON

  1. so now i know what mooncake is 🙂 i was wondering after i read about it on a chinese woman\’s space. And the legend of it too.
    Fancy only meeting your spouse once a year! guess to some it would be the best marriage 😉
    mariexx

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