Archives for posts with tag: moon

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA portfolio
W140xD160mm, Hong Kong

A small portfolio decorated with a piece of embroidery filled with blessing symbols.

The cow in the middle of the embroidery is known as a Spring Cow, it is part of the Chinese New Year traditional that has been passed down since 800B.C.  The figure of a cow would be made with straws and mud, a day before (Li Chun – the first day of spring in the 24 solar terms) it would be brought to front gate of the town where it would be whipped by all the notable of the town or village.  The ritual is believed to wake up the Spring Cow, the passing of the freezing winter, the start of agriculture and the gone with winter ailmnet.  With us city dwellers who are far away from the farmland and the fields, the only Spring Cow we will see is perhaps the one printed at the back of the Tung Shing which gives us prediction of the year’s weather.  Well, for this year will is suppose to be drought, we seems to be getting a lot of rain so far.
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Around the Spring Cow are blessing objects;

@12 o’clock –  yellow moon, an object of worship,
@2 o’clock – the double trapezium, Fang Sheng, the hairstyle of the Queen Mother of the West, has the ability to pacify,
@5 o’clock – rhino horn, resembling victory,
@7 o’clock – scroll of  books and painting, wisdom
@10 o’clock – the 3 blessed star Fu Lu Shou,
@11 o’clock –  in form of a white cloud shape is Ru Yi, “as you wished”.

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moon cakeW70xL70xH25mm, Hong Kong

This is a ceramic paper weight made in the shape of a moon cake.

Today is the 15th of lunar August, the middle of autumn when the moon is at its fullest.  Since the Zhou dynasty people has started to worship and celebrate the moon on this night.  Food, such as moon cake, water melon, apple, dates, plums and grapes will be offer to the moon on an alter together with candles.  Today, for most people the moon festival is about the appreciation of the moon, a time for family reunion and of course a feast.

As people becomes more health conscious in recent years, the once a year of loaded sugar and cholesterol is too much for some, the sales of moon cake has started to decline.  However, they have found another target customer – doggy mooncake, mooncake made especially for the man’s best friend.  Looks like they have found spotted the right target!

DIA150xH220mm, China

This pesto was used as be a medicine grinder; in the old days every household would have a grinder like this for grinning the certain Chinese medicine, herbal, shells, mineral, hones, bones, etc.

The most famous figure for medicine grinding is however not a doctor as we might have thought, it is in fact a rabbit, the Jade Rabbit (see earlier post) that lived on the moon.  Can you spot the rabbit?  This image on the moon can be seen on lunar 15th of every month.

W100xD50xH130mm, China

This is no Easter bunny but the famous Lord Rabbit.  It is a toy for the Mid Autumn (full moon) festival in the Beijing area.  The Lord Rabbit figurine first appeared in the late Ming dynasty, it was mainly used for worshipping by the younger generations.  It is believed that Chang E, the moon goddess, has a pet rabbit who is whiter than white jade as he was named as the Jade Rabbit.  The Jade Rabbit was specialised in preparing the medicine (you might have seen images of him stirring the medicinal pot on the moon).  Jade Rabbit worshipping has then been taken into moon worship and since rabbit has been kept as a household pet, out of respect for the Jade Rabbit god he was worshipped as the Lord Rabbit.  By Qing dynasty Lord Rabbit has turned into a toy for the Mid Autumn festival.  The folk story goes; once Beijing was infected by plague, almost all the household got sick, the moon goddess was sadden by the news and sent the Jade Rabbit to help cure the capital.  At each household he healed he would turned down any gifts but instead borrow a new set of clothing.  With the new clothing he would assume a different image for the next household, sometimes a female, sometimes a general etc.  He would also take on different animals for transportation; a deer, a tiger, a horse etc., hence there are many different versions of his figurines.