ESL jobs in China|Find a teaching english job(TEFL jobs) in China.

In Chinese minds, the moon is associated with gentleness and brightness, expressing the beautiful yearnings of the Chinese. On the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, the moon is full and it is time to mark the Moon Festival, or the Mid-Autumn Festival. The round shape symbolizes family reunion. Therefore the day is a holiday for family members to get together and enjoy the full moon – an auspicious token of abundance, harmony, and luck.

According to traditional Chinese culture, the moon is a carrier of human emotions. Ancient Chinese myth and philosophy explain why the Chinese prefer the moon.

In Chinese fairy tales, the fairy Chang E lived on the moon with a wood cutter named Wu Gang and her pet jade rabbit. In the old days, people paid respect to the fairy Chang E and her pet, the jade rabbit.

The Lady – Chang E

The story takes place around 2170 B.C. At that time, the earth had ten suns circling it, each taking its turn to illuminate the earth. But one day all ten suns appeared together, scorching the earth with their heat. The earth was saved by a strong and tyrannical archer named Hou Yi. He succeeded in shooting down nine of the suns. One day, Hou Yi stole the elixir of life from a goddess. However, his beautiful wife Chang E drank the elixir of life in order to save the people from her husband’s tyrannical rule. After drinking it, she found herself floating and flew all they way to the moon. Hou Yi loved his divinely beautiful wife so much, he refused to shoot down the moon.

The wood cutter – Wu Kang

Wu Kang was a shiftless fellow who changed apprenticeships all the time. One day he decided that he wanted to be an immortal, so he went to live in the mountains where he importuned an immortal to teach him. First the immortal taught him about the herbs used to cure sickness, but after three days his characteristic restlessness returned and Wu Kang asked the immortal to teach him something else. So the immortal to taught him chess, but after a short while Wu Kang’s enthusiasm again waned. Then Wu Kang was given the books of immortality to study. Of course, Wu Kang became bored within a few days, and asked if they could travel to some new and exciting place. Angered with Wu Kang’s impatience, the master banished Wu Kang to the Moon Palace telling him that he must cut down a huge cassia tree before he could return to earth. Though Wu Kang chopped day and night, the magical tree restored itself with each blow, and thus he is up there chopping still.

The Hare – Jade Rabbit

In this legend, three fairy sages transformed themselves into pitiful old men and begged for something to eat from a fox, a monkey and a rabbit. The fox and the monkey both had food to give the old men, but the rabbit, empty-handed, offered his own flesh instead by jumping into a blazing fire to cook himself. The sages were so touched by the rabbit’s sacrifice that they let him live in the Moon Palace where he became the “Jade Rabbit.”

The Customs of sacrificing the Moon

From the royalty to the populace, it is an important custom to sacrifice to and appreciate the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, sons and daughters come back to their parents’ house. Sometimes people who have settled overseas will return to visit their parents. Adults will usually indulge in fragrant moon cakes of different varieties with a good cup of piping hot Chinese tea, while the little ones run around with brightly-lit lanterns. After nightfall, entire families go out under the stars for a walk or picnics, looking up at the full silver moon, thinking of their nearby relatives or friends, as well as those who are far from home. A line from a verse “The moon at the home village is exceptionally brighter” expresses those feelings. It can also be a romantic night for lovers, who sit holding hands on riverbanks and park benches, enraptured by the brightest moon of the year.

To celebrate this sighting of the moon, red plastic lanterns wrought in traditional styles and embellished with traditional motifs are prepared for the occasion. The lanterns are made in traditional shapes such as rabbits, goldfish, carps, butterflies, lobsters and star-shaped fruits.

There is a saying in Chinese that marriages are made in heaven and prepared on the moon. The man who does the preparing is the old man of the moon (Yue Lao). This old man, it is said, keeps as a record book with all the names of newborn babies. He is the one heavenly person who knows everyone’s future partners, and nobody can fight the decisions written down in his book. He is one reason why the moon is so important in Chinese mythology and especially at the time of the Moon Festival. Everybody, including children, hikes up high mountains or hills or onto open beaches to view the moon in the hope that he will grant their wishes.

Therefore, lovers spend a romantic night together tasting the delicious moon cake with some wine while watching the full moon. Even couples who can’t be together still enjoy the night by watching the moon at the same time so it seems that they are together at that hour. Reams of poetry have been devoted to this romantic festival. Hopefully the Moon Festival will bring you happiness.

Contrary to what most people believe, this festival probably has less to do with harvest festivities than with the philosophically minded Chinese of old. The union of man’s spirit with nature in order to achieve perfect harmony was the fundamental canon of Taoism, so much so that contemplation of nature was a way of life.

The Moon in the Chinese aesthetics

According to the myth of the moon, Chang E drank the elixir of life and Wu Kang cut down the cassia tree which can restore itself with each blow, implying an immortal spirit of life. The moon’s waxing and waning greatly influences the Chinese lunar calendar and Chinese philosophy, in pursuit of immortal spirit of life and mysterious wisdom.

Chinese culture has something in common with the moon, always peaceful and gentle, also reflected by the modest and friendly attitudes of Chinese people which also elucidates the spirit of Chinese culture.

Flying to the Moon

With respect to the history of Chinese civilization, China is the first nation to cherish the dream of flying to the sky. From the myth of Chang’E to the Fly Apsaras of Dunhuang caves, expresses Chinese ancestors’ desire to explore outer space. Many ancient Chinese poets also showed their preference for the moon through wonderful words. For example, the poetic genius Libai wrote more than 320 poems about the moon in his lifetime.

The Chinese exploring moon project is named after Chang’E, fully expressing this pursuit of the Chinese.

ESL jobs in China

People in different parts of China celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in different ways, but one traditional custom is shared by all – eating cakes shaped like the moon.

As the name suggests, the Mid-Autumn Festival takes place in the middle of autumn. The month August was considered to be the second (or the middle) month of autumn, and the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day (the middle) of the eighth month in the lunar calendar each year. This year, the festival will take place on Sept 12.

There are many different beliefs regarding the origin of the moon cake. One theory suggests that moon cakes were originally used as vessels to pass secret messages, where people sneaked slips of paper in the filling of the pastry. Others believe that people paid respect to the lady that lived on the moon – Chang’e (along with her pet the jade rabbit) – by presenting exquisitely prepared desserts. Either way, the tradition was passed on, and the pastry has become the moon cakes we eat today.

The authenticity of either theory, or any for that matter, regarding the origin of the Moon Cake remains uncertain, but one thing is for sure – the Mid-Autumn Festival is incomplete without moon cakes.

The status of the moon cake during the Mid-Autumn Festival is equivalent to that of roasted turkey on Christmas Eve or chocolates on Valentine’s Day; it’s just indispensable.

The moon cake the must-have for any celebration of this traditional festival, not only because of its taste, but more so for its cultural and artistic connotations. With more flavors to choose from and ever-so-delicate packaging, enjoying moon cakes in the midst of fall, perhaps with a cup green tea or fragrant Chinese wine, has already become an artistic experience.

Moon cakes are round pastries commonly filled with lotus paste and seeds, red bean paste, ham or salted duck’s egg yolk. The surface of the cakes are often patterned with clouds, the moon and rabbits, each symbolic and significant for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The cakes are round, a shape that symbolizes reunions for the Chinese. Exchange of gifts among families and friends during the festival is one of the most amicable customs in China. Strolling under the gentle moon light is a good choice for the hopeless romantics. Even for the couples that are miles apart, admiring the silver moon under the same sky would emotionally pull them closer at that very hour.

The custom of eating moon cakes dates back thousands of years and is closely tied to Chinese culture and history. A considerable number of ancient Chinese poets have penned beautiful poems and writings about the festival and the cake.

So, whether you have had these delicious treats before or never even heard of them, be sure to get at least one on Sept 12. Enjoying a moon cake under the brightly lit full moon on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival is a one of a kind, emotionally fulfilling and artistically inspiring experience.

Don’t miss it.

To know more,let us do ESL jobs in China

Because he loved his wife very much, the Grand Archer Yi reluctantly set out on a journey to the Kunlun Mountains where the peaches of long life were grown by Hsi Wang Mu, the Queen Mother of the Western Paradise. The Archer was unsure of the road, and even less sure of how much strength he had left. When he lived in heaven, Yi had always ridden in the empress’s chariot or straddled the tails of sky dragons to reach the Western Paradise, but now that he lived on earth, he had to walk. He crossed burning deserts, forded cold streams, and trekked over high mountains for thousands of miles.

Finally, Yi arrived at his destination and was greeted by Hsi Wang Mu. When Yi told her that his wife wanted a dosage of the elixir of immortality, Hsi Wang Mu could only sigh. Unfortunately, she told Yi, the gods and goddesses had just feasted on the last batch of peaches. The next peach crop would not ripen for another three thousand years. When Yi continued to implore her, Hsi Wang Mu took one leftover, very imperfect dried-up peach, pounded some herbs and powders, and stirred them together into an elixir. Then the Queen Mother poured the precious liquid into a small vial. “This potion will take both of you to the heavens. But make sure you take it on a clear night, or you could be trapped halfway between earth and heaven,” she warned.

Carefully, the Archer placed the vial in his leather pouch and knotted the bag tightly around his waist. Again, Yi trudged over the same high mountains, forded the same cold streams, and crossed the same burning deserts to return to his wife. When he lived in heaven, he had not cared about its comforts and luxuries. Because of his

status there as a mortal who served the gods, Yi, too, had been invited to sumptuous feasts and had eaten the peach of immortality. The magical potion had enhanced his

already powerful body and made him invincible. Now on earth, however, he felt his power slipping day by day. Although Yi did not resent his banishment to earth, he was

beginning to resent his decaying mortal body.

When at last the Archer returned home and presented the precious elixir to his wife, Chang-O was delighted. She burned with the anticipation of returning to her sisters in the sky. The goddess begged him to take the medicine immediately, but her husband refused, remembering the warning he had been given by the Queen Mother. Yi said, “I have undertaken a long journey to fulfill your deepest desire. We must be patient and wait for a clear night when the stars can guide us homeward.”

Chang-O agreed with her husband’s clear reasoning, but her desire to be reunited with her sisters was far stronger than her appreciation of his logic. When her husband left for his daily hunt, the goddess stared at the elixir. As the day and night wore on, Yi did not return. As was often the case, Chang-O spent the lonely night waiting for her husband’s return. The Archer often stopped to chat with his neighbors to whom he gave generous portions of deer, rabbit, quail, pheasant, and duck from his hunt.

Chang-O sighed. The goddess knew by its smell that the elixir was already diluted. The dosage was so weak, she reasoned, that the Archer would probably never recover his full strength by drinking his portion, and she would probably never regain her full beauty by drinking hers. Furthermore, they might never even reach heaven. With these fears in mind, the goddess developed a plan. She would drink both of their portions so that she could return to heaven first, and beg the sun god to forgive her husband for his brashness in having shot down the nine suns. Then she and her sister goddesses could borrow some sky dragons to visit the Queen Mother of the Western Paradise. There, they would persuade her to mix up another dose of the elixir solely for the Archer so he could join his wife in heaven.

As she swallowed the elixir, Chang-O felt its bitterness burn her throat. Immediately, her body became lighter, and she felt dizzy. As she ran out into the night, her body floated upward to the stars. Unfortunately, the night was not clear. Chang-O wandered among the stars and lost her way. She finally came to rest, trapped in the cold moon.

The Archer Yi was just returning when he saw his wife drifting up to the sky. He called out to her and ran after her shadow, but she was too far away to hear him. Yi was heartbroken and wept for days. No one could console the grieving hunter.

The gods took pity on the Archer. Yi had served the gods well and always did their bidding faithfully. The Archer never complained about the countless petty tasks assigned to him by the lesser gods of heaven. Furthermore, Yi had saved the earth from droughts and monsters when the gods could not be bothered.

Therefore, once a year, the gods grant the Archer the right to ascend to the skies to be with his wife. On that one night, the harvest moon shines the brightest and fullest of the year, reflecting the Archer Yi’s love for Chang-O.