On the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Calendar (September 8 in 2014) when the moon appears the fullest, the Chinese celebrate the Mid-autumn Festival with wonderful displays of elaborate lit designs and figures. Children traditionally walk around with fancifully-shaped paper lanterns with candles. There are a number of legends regarding the "seas" of the moon (as seen from Earth):
- Chang'e - Once upon a time there were 10 suns in the universe. All the vegetation on earth were burnt, rivers and seas ran dry and many people died of thirst and hunger. The famous archer Hou Yi was sent by the Jade Emperor of Heaven to shoot down 9 of these suns so that life on Earth could be restored. For Hou Yi's good deeds, the Western Queen Mother rewarded him with the elixir of longivity made from fruit grown on the tree of eternity to be shared with his wife Chang'e. The couple picked the 15th day of the 8th lunar month when the moon is the fullest to take the elixir in order to enjoy eternal life together. However, Hou Yi was murdered by one of his students who learned of their plan and forced Chang'e to give up the elixir. Chang'e refused by quickly drank all of the elixir herself. Immediately Chang'e was lifted towards heaven and she decided to live on the moon which was the closest to Earth.
- The Old Man on the Moon - the Divine Match-maker who tied red thread on the feet of young men and women who were destined to spend their lives together. During the mid-autumn festival, maidens made offerings and prayed to the Divine Match-maker for his choice of a perfect mate.
- The Jade Rabbit - The pet designated by the Western Queen Mother to be a companion for Chang'e living a lonely life on the Moon.
- The massive everlasting Cherry tree which heels itself of any injury.
The legend of the moon cakes was that during the uprising against the rulers and warlords from Mongolia, the rebels passed messages to one another by inserting them in paper inside the mooncakes.
In celebration of the festival, enjoy a $5 discount on the purchase of a Carousel truffle box from now until September 10!