Col­or­ful Au­tumn

— Time of Har­vest and Re­union

China Scenic - - Idioms - By Cheng Long Pho­to­graph by Kang Jian

Itis a good time to visit China now. The coun­try has never looked bet­ter through­out the year than it does this sea­son. There can be few places in the world where col­ors of ripen­ing leaves are so var­ied and con­tin­ued through so many weeks. The spec­tac­u­lar Moon in the night sky con­trib­utes to the great­ness of the fall scenery as well. Be­sides the breath-tak­ing land­scape, the har­vest of crops is even more im­por­tant for Chi­nese lives. For an tra­di­tional agri­cul­tural coun­try like China, the sig­nif­i­cance of au­tumn can never be over es­ti­mated. When au­tumn comes, Chi­nese peo­ple tend to use Qiu Gao­qishuang (秋高气爽, the au­tumn sky is clear and air is fresh) to de­scribe this sea­son.

Chi­nese have many rea­sons to cel­e­brate the au­tumn. Mid-au­tumn Day is such a tra­di­tional fes­ti­val that falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chi­nese lu­nar cal­en­dar. Peo­ple in dif­fer­ent parts of China have dif­fer­ent ways to cel­e­brate the Mid-au­tumn Fes­ti­val, but mooncakes—cakes shaped like the moon—have played a cen­tral role through­out China. The round mooncakes are sym­bols of the great fam­ily re­union just like the round, bright moon of the Mid-au­tumn Fes­ti­val. As a tra­di­tion of the fes­ti­val, they are en­joy­ably eaten by the peo­ple and of­fered to friends and rel­a­tives as the best bless­ing for fam­ily unity and har­mony.

To­day the fam­ily re­union is still part of the fes­ti­val. When farm­ers have had a good har­vest, when city peo­ple have suc­cess­fully met one new chal­lenge af­ter an­other, when the so­ci­ety has made great progress and be­came pros­per­ous, we trea­sure the oc­ca­sion for fam­ily re­union even more and en­joy the pre­cious air of fam­ily har­mony.

It is ap­par­ent that Mid-au­tumn Day, a tra­di­tional fes­ti­val handed down for thou­sands of years and sec­ond only to the Spring Fes­ti­val in the lives of Chi­nese peo­ple, has a strong cen­tripetal force for Chi­nese so­ci­ety and com­mu­ni­ties, both at home and abroad.

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