Let me tell you a little about the Mid Autumn Moon festival. It falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar - when the Autumn moon is at its fullest for the whole year. This year its on September 8th - but we will be celebrating it here in LA on Saturday 13th September.
Of all the stories about the moon, that of Chang E going to the moon is the one that is best known in China. Legend has it that in ancient times, there were ten suns in the sky. It was so hot that the oceans boiled, mountains and earth exploded, plants were burnt and people had nowhere to hide. Hou Yi, a young man good at archery, shot down nine of the ten suns, saving all from disaster. He became a universally loved hero. One day, on his way to visit his friend and obtain the Tao, he encountered the Queen Mother of the Western Heavens, she gave him a package that contained the elixir of life, which once taken, would make one immortal. Hou Yi loved his wife, Chang E, more than anything and decided he could not nor would not ever leave her, and so put the Elixir of life away. So it came about that whilst Hou Yi was out hunting, his wife came across the package and mistakenly took the drug. She immediately felt as light as a cloud and floated to the sky where a bright moon was hanging. Chang E had always loved the moon and decided to stay for a while at the Moon Palace, but once there she became a fairy and was never able to return home. Hou Yi put out offerings to her, of all her favorite things that night, and it is said that is where the tradition of the mid autumn moon festival originated.
Worshipping the Moon dates back before records began and no doubt before legends were born. The practice of worshipping the mid Autumn moon brings about a time to celebrate the Harvest, abundance and fruition, to wish for reuniting the families, and to share with those you love. The egg held within the moon cake symbolizes the moon and sharing the cake with all your family and friends is both a type of worship to the moon and a sharing of abundance with those you love.