Happy Moon Festival! 中秋节快乐！The 2018 Chinese Moon Festival is on the 24th of September, which is tomorrow. The Moon Festival is a very important festival for the Chinese People. It’s also an important part of the Chinese culture. In this video, I’m going to teach you how to say “Happy Moon Festival!” in Chinese Mandarin. I’m also going to share with you some stories about the Chinese Moon Festival and the Moon culture. My name is Barry Li, welcome to the New Chinese Vlog – Episode 1 – The Pilot!
I’m the author of this book – “The New Chinese”. I’m not going to talk my book today, because there’s absolutely no mentioning about the Moon Festival in my book. My book is about the new stuff happening in China, and the Moon Festival is something pretty old. According Wikipedia, the Chinese started celebrating the Moon Festival since the Shang (商)Dynasty, which was 1600 BC. Personally, I won’t take the actual date too seriously. But that date pretty much tells you how important it is as part of the Chinese tradition. I think this is the second most important traditional festival for the Chinese, right next to the Chinese New Year (春节 or 农历新年). We are going to talk about that in February next year. Back to the Moon Festival, do you know, the official name of the Moon Festival is called Mid-Autumn Festival? Therefore, it feels weird to call it the Mid-Autumn Festival in Australia, because this is the middle of Spring. That’s probably why we prefer to call it Moon Festival. But for Australian Chinese, we still call it 中秋节, which means Mid-Autumn Festival. 中 Zhong (first tone) means Middle. 秋 Qiu (first tone) means Autumn. 节 Jie (second tone) means Festival. 中秋节 means Mid-autumn Festival.
Mid-autumn is the time of harvest. So, you can imagine how the Chinese celebrate this festival. That’s right, by eating a lot of food. That’s how the Chinese celebrate every festival, by eating a lot of food. And all the Chinese festivals have at least one type of special food comes with it. For the moon festival, it is the Mooncake! There are lots of different kinds of mooncakes in China. But the most popular ones, are the Cantonese style mooncakes (广式月饼) and the Suzhou Style mooncake （苏式月饼）The difference is that the Suzhou style mooncake has a crunchy flaky pastry skin. （酥皮）, while the Cantonese style is more soft and sticky. And they both come with various types of fillings, from the traditional bean paste, lotus flour, egg York, to the modern ones like fruit and even chocolate ones. My personal favourite is the hot Suzhou style mooncake with pork. Yummy.
Now, how do you greet people at the Moon festival? We just learnt 中秋节 Zhong Qiu Jie which means Moon Festival. Now you just need to add 快乐 Kuai Le to the end, which means Happy. Kuai (fourth tone) Le (fourth tone) So, it is 中秋节快乐 Zhong Qiu Jie Kuai Le，Moon Festival Happy. 中秋节快乐 is short for 祝您中秋节快乐 Wish you, Moon Festival Happy. 祝 Zhu (fourth tone) is “wish”. 您 Nin (second tone) is you (honorific expression).
We have just talked about the greetings and the food of the Moon Festival, but why are we celebrating the Moon Festival? Firstly, it is mid-Autumn, the reason for harvest. So, it is also known as the harvest festival in some parts of China. A lot of countries in this world celebrates the harvest. In fact, having a party is a great way to celebrate a year of achievement and put on some weight. Besides the harvest, there is also a meaning of the Moon Festival. It’s about family. On the day of the Moon Festival, which is the 15th of August of the Chinese lunar calendar, the moon is a big round circle. Round in Chinese is Yuan （圆）. The Chinese love Yuan（圆），Yuan means complete and perfect. It symbols that all family members are at home. No one is away. Everyone is well. It’s called 团圆， which pretty much means united in a circle. Therefore, the moon festival is an important festival for the family to sit together and have a nice dinner, and enjoy the mooncake. One important activity on the Moon Festival is 赏月(Shang Yue) – Moon Watching. Basically, you just stare at the big round Moon and think about how great your family is. Maybe you can also read a poem or something. Most Chinese don’t do it anymore, but reading poetry under the Moon a common activity in ancient China. And by the way, 圆 yuan – circle, also means the Chinese currency – Chinese Yuan. Sometimes we use the simplified Chinese character 元, but they are the same meaning and pronunciation. Now you get how important the circle shape is in China.
I think we have talked a lot here already, about the Chinese Moon Festival. To make sure you are overloaded, I’m going to stop here and quickly talk about this video series I’m making. What I intend to do with the New Chinese Vlog, is to make it a weekly video for teaching Chinese Mandarin. I’m just going to show you one sentence each week. For example for today, it is 祝您中秋节快乐 Wish you, Moon Festival Happy. If you can remember it, and use it, and we keep doing this for a year, you will speak at least 50 very useful Chinese sentences. In addition to the language, I’m going to talk about the history, the culture and the food of China. If we can this for a couple of years, then you will not only speak Chinese but also now the culture well. Isn’t it a great idea? I really like it. If you want it too, can I please ask you to click to “subscribe” button under this video, so I know you like it and we can make another one next week. Thank you very much for watching，祝您中秋节快乐，再见！(Zai Jian!)