Although, in North America, there have always been circles of women who gather to honor the ebb and flow of the moon, connecting with lunar cycle was arguable regarded as a little “woo woo” until recently. But Full Moon rituals and New Moon gatherings have now become a more integral part of health and wellness culture in the United States.
And for good reason.
Women’s menstrual cycles are historically linked to the lunar cycle- it’s why we call our energy bites ‘Moon Bites’. And women experiencing amenorrhea- missed periods for three months or longer- or irregular cycles, can use the Full and New Moons as their guide posts when seed syncing.
There’s also evidence to suggest that more births occur around the Full Moon. And moon cycles can affect us emotionally, energetically, and spiritually, so much so that there is a word for it: “moon sensitive”.
But Asian cultures still take the (moon) cake when it comes to honoring the moon’s relevance on our lives and the planet, as evidenced by the Chinese mid-Autumn festival. To echo the importance of this celebration, it’s Western culture equivalent would be Thanksgiving.
Moon Festival Folklore
Also known as the mid-Autumn Festival or the Reunion Festival, the Moon Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar with the Full Moon at night. At its brightest and roundest, the moon symbolizes reunion; people gather with loved ones to celebrate harmony and unity as they share food and watch the moon.
There are many Chinese fables, folklore tales, and stories. We’ve shared a couple below.
Message In A Moon Cake
A legend tells of the hard and miserable life at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, where people decided to overthrow the ruling Mongols. Fearing a rebellion, the Mongols restricted ownership of knives, as they attempted to dampen any plans of an uprising. To counter this, the Han Chinese made mooncakes that each contained a slip of paper with the date of the planned rebellion: the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. The message spread quickly, aligning the people, and the Hans freed themselves from the Mongols rule. To commemorate this day, mooncakes have become of staple of the Festival to be enjoyed among family and friends.
In ancient Chinese culture, the moon and tides symbolize rejuvenation. Gradually, moons and tides were also associated with women’s menstruation, sometimes called “monthly water”.
The Pregnant Moon
One fable from Southern China tells that the sun and moon are a couple and the stars are their children. When the moon is pregnant, it becomes round, and after giving birth, it becomes crescent. Therefore, it was believed that only women could worship the moon at the mid-Autumn Festival.
The Goddess of the Moon
Another folklore tale explains a husband and wife who possessed- by chance- an immortality elixir, gifted to the husband by a Queen. He did not want to leave his wife alone, so they left the elixir untouched and tucked away at home. While the husband was away from home, a burglar attempted to steal the elixir, but refusing to hand it over, the wife swallowed it instead. She floated to the sky, but because she loved her husband and didn’t want to go too far, she landed on the moon, where she continues to reside. Desperately looking for his wife, the husband noticed that the moon was exceptionally bright one night with a silhouette that looked just like the one he loved. Ever since, people have been worshipping the moon with the wife’s favorite fruits and snacks. She is now known as the Goddess of the Moon.
If you come from a culture that celebrates the moon, share your stories below. We’d all love to learn more! Just add a comment below.