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Custom of Mid-Autumn Festival in Shanghai

(CNTV)

09:22, October 21, 2011

Customs of Mid-Autumn Festival in Shanghai include worshiping the moon and burning incense. When the moon rises, people set tables in the open air and offer mooncakes, melons, fruit, green soybeans, taro, lotus roots and so on. Moon Palace magical figure paintings show the Jade Hare standing with a club are offered as well. In ancient times, it was said the moon belonged to yin (the female part of the yin-yang philosophy), so in the full moon celebration women worshipped the moon first, then the men. It was also said that "Men needn't celebrate the full moon". When the full moon celebration is done, family members drink reunion wine and have an admiration-of-the-moon dinner. A woman lodging at her parental home must return to her husband's family on the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival to celebrate the Mid-autumn Festival. Going on a walk and admiring the full moon is called "zou yueliang" (‘moon walking’) by Shanghainese. Women taking a walk at night with friends is called "ta yue” (a moonlight stroll). Lujia Stone Bridge is outside Xiaodongmen, Shanghai, under which the reflection of the bright moon bobbling in the water contrasts adorably with the shining moon in the sky. So tourists come like hungry carp, rushing to watch. This is one of the "Top Eight Scenic Spots in Shanghai"

There is a custom of incense altars (called shaoxiang dou) among Shanghai people. The incense altars, also called douxiang, are made by traditional offerings shops, in a truncated square-based pyramid shape, standing large end up. Large ones are more than two feet wide. Muslin is pasted around the altar, and there are decorative images of the Moon Palace and pavilions. Some xiangdous are made by weaving joss sticks. On the altar are things like the Dragon Gate and Kuixing (the Daoist god of fate). Above are colorful banners and flags. In Shanghai, the most magnificent scene of incense altars on Mid-Autumn Festival is always in Nanyuan ('South Garden'). Abutments of many great bridges in and around the city are lit by special large xiangdous.

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