As long as it is the true beauty, it will be loved by millions of people, and this love will become a huge drive for cultural creativity.


During Mid-Autumn festival, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, at the invitation of Dialogue Forum of Civilization, held an international academic dialogue themed as “traditional festival and contemporary value”. Ms. Mariam Syed, a young diplomat from Pakistan, gave us a refreshing definition of traditional festivals. She said, “Festivals can not only inherit culture but also show the acme expression of human art pursuit”. This sentence is still lingering in our minds as a flash of lightening.


Those who were born in 1960s grew up in revolutionary times. In their childhood, the highlights on the calendar were all related to revolution. Even in Spring Festival, there was always a revolutionary Spring Festival.

 

Goods were so scarce at that age that children could only get one piece of moon cake. They would not eat it until they enjoy full moon with friends at night. Most moon cakes are stuffed with five kernels. Using a wooden mould, aunts lived nearby can bake moon cakes with beautiful honeysuckle pattern. In street posters and the melody of the slogan,the beauty of handcraft made by folk carpentry has left a great impression on us. 

 

There is always full moon in Mid-Autumn Festival which patch up with moon cake and reunion to a deep print in our memory. Some significant festivals in China had been brought to Japan since Tang dynasty, such as Spring Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Double Seventh Festival and Double Ninth Festival. Even though some people enjoyed full moon on lunar August 15th in Tang Dynasty, Mid-Autumn Festival is unique because it had become a great festival during Five-Dynasty period to Song dynasty. Therefore, there is no Mid-Autumn Festival in Japanese Palace and it is also not popular among most Japanese people. We even cannot find moon cakes in market.  

 

What is festival? Jie (festival) has a deep meaning in Chinese and it originates from Zhujie (bamboo). We are living in time flow and the length of every hour and every day is same according to pure physics. However, we should cut time stream into dots called knot. The knot is the scale for endless flow of time, and thus different nations apply unique meaning to these knots according to different natural conditions and cultures.  


The moon on lunar August 15th is one of the twelve full moons in a year. It is moon cake wrapped five kernels or jujube paste and carved honeysuckle pattern or numerous fu (Chinese character which means blessing) pattern, poems such as “Over the sea the moon shines bright; we gaze at it far, far apart.” “May we all be blessed with longevity though far apart, we are still able to share the beauty of the moon together.’’ and memory of family reunions since childhood that constitute cozy and peaceful time code related to happiness in our deep heart. 

 

In 2008, Dragon Boat festival and Mid-Autumn festival was listed into the national legal holidays, which confirms to people’s demands. Since reform and opening up, people’s living standard has been improved a lot, and the whole society is consistently developing and making progress.


This is an era when we should devote ourselves to the world and the whole nation finds its new position in the world. This great change in calendar is of great significance in this era. It marked that traditional festivals based on Chinese agriculture civilization was incorporated in modern Chinese cultural construction, and Chinese cultural development has embarked on the journey of self-recognition.

 

Ten years flies, how is the traditional festival’s development in modern society? On one hand, we get accustomed to mutual greetings at every festival. Therefore, mainstream media, business and tourism pay much attention to traditional festivals. On the other hand, with the development of urbanization, the rural areas what traditional festivals rely heavily on are shrinking day by day. Traditional festivals are confronted with the risk of meaningless due to low connections with real city life . How will we maintain festival customs? As far as I am concerned, the most important thing is to encourage more involvement and take art as its core in the path. 


Filial Piety noted that, ‘we will work to see the back of outdated social mores and to promote good and up-to-date practices and trends.’ Art is the acme expression of human culture. As long as it is the true beauty, it will be loved by millions people, and this love will become a huge drive for cultural creativity. The Chinese nation is full of artistic creativity. A small amount of dough can be made in various shapes with different patterns. A piece of thin paper can be cut into a variety of beautiful window decorations. 

 

Facing time changes, on the premise of keeping connotations of festival culture , we need to give full play to this creativity through respecting people’s heart, emotion and opinions, and grant traditional festival art multiple expressions with various means including modern technology. As a result, we may produce new cultural products which are delighted to hear and see and have a strong appeal among people. These products can evoke people’s involvement in festivals with self spontaneous, self consciousness and voluntary.

 

It is high time for us to refresh ourselves and start a new journey.   (From China Youth Daily)


Chinese Festivals--the Happiness Code from the Bottom of Heart

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2018-09-28

Updated