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Asians celebrate Moon Festival with fire dragons, traditional 'moon cakes'

Asians celebrate Moon Festival with fire dragons, traditional 'moon cakes'

A spectacular traditional fire dragon dance passed through Hong Kong on Saturday as part of the mid-autumn festival of the moon celebrated in many parts of Asia.

According to the Newark Museum, "For more than 3,000 years throughout East Asia, families celebrated the Harvest Moon Festival by listening to stories of the Moon goddess and Jade Rabbit while savoring moon cakes, pomelos and ginger tea."  About.com writes, "Children are told the story of the moon fairy living in a crystal palace, who comes out to dance on the moon's shadowed surface. The legend surrounding the "lady living in the moon" dates back to ancient times, to a day when ten suns appeared at once in the sky. The Emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the nine extra suns. Once the task was accomplished, Goddess of Western Heaven rewarded the archer with a pill that would make him immortal. However, his wife found the pill, took it, and was banished to the moon as a result. Legend says that her beauty is greatest on the day of the Moon festival."

Moon cakes are made from a dough filled with red azuki beans (recipe).

The Associated Press was in Hong Kong to capture raw video footage (embedded below).


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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
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