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Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Zen Cat 2018 wall calendar

Image from our Zen Cat 2018 wall calendar featuring paintings and poetry by Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin. Click for more info.

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival falls on the full moon of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar (October 4 in 2017).

I’ve always loved this holiday that marks the beginning of the dark half of the year, the half that is correlated with the yin or feminine element. In some parts of China, it was celebrated only by women, who gathered in a courtyard and created an altar with a statue of the Jade Rabbit, who lives at the center of the moon. They drank tea and dined on moon cakes and fruits that symbolize fertility, like pomegranates, grapes, apples, melons, and peaches. I like to serve honeydew melon and lemon-balm tea (since lemon balm is an herb of the moon). Continue reading