In the beginning, the pictograph of Yue is a new moon hanging in the sky.
Gradually, a vertical stroke was added inside.
Moon in Chinese thought:
Yue4 is associated with Yin, the female principle.
In the famous Chinese legend, the moon deity Chang-E is a woman and ‘arises’ in the West. Her moon-palace is called Guang-Han, which means wild coldness.
In ancient times, women's feet mutilated by binding were much admired and compared with the beauty of the new moon - as were the eyebrows of beautiful women.
Chinese people imagined both the West and autumn are female. And they think that the moon is most beautiful in the autumn.
The moon was sometimes linked with the execution of criminals since this is the time when all of nature is "dying".
The moon also symbolizes the Empress since the Emperor is associated with the sun.
The "MOON Festival"
In the old lunar calendar, every month begins on the day of the new moon, and the full moon always falls on the 15th.
(Did you know that the moon passes through eight different phases?
“New Moon” and “Full Moon” are two of the phases.
New Moon means the Moon's non-illuminated side is facing the Earth. The Moon is not visible (except during a solar eclipse).
Full Moon means the Moon's illuminated side is facing the Earth. The Moon appears to be completely illuminated by direct sunlight.
Enough of the science lesson. :--) )
Accordingly, the feast of the moon, the mid-autumn festival, was held on the 15th day of the 8th month, and on that day, the sacrifice to the moon takes place in the open air.
All the fruits which are offered in sacrifice have symbolical meaning: the gourds express the wish that the family may always remain united, the pomegranates symbolize many children, the apples augur peace, and the cakes are round in shape like the full moon.
For generations, moon cakes, the festival delicacy, have been golden brown in color and made of flour with sweet fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, louts seeds or Chinese dates. Sometimes a cooked egg yolk can be found in the middle of the rich-tasting dessert.
Nowadays, Chinese consumers can buy moon cakes made of fruit, ice cream, yogurt, pork, mushrooms, green tea, flowers, jelly and even XO brandy.
Even the moon deity wouldn't have guessed the Yue symbol could be transformed into such a roaring business!
There are many expressions associated with the moon and the mid-autumn season. Here are a few :
"Pin2 Hu2 Qiu1 Yue4" – Moon Reflected in West Lake (i.e. One of the most famous and beautiful lakes in China, located in West of Hangzhou, hence the name West Lake.)
This is the considered the best scene to behold during the Chinese moon festival.
This expression also means being in a high state of artistic appreciation especially in mid-autumn, the harvest season.
"Yue4 Bai2 Feng1 Qing1" - The moon is bright, the wind is soft.
A very special scene in the beautiful mid-autumn night guaranteed to make one homesick!
"Hua1 Hao3 Yue4 Yuan2" – Literally, the flower is intact and moon is full.
It means to live a life of fortune and happiness.
"Yue4 Xia4 Hua1 Qian2" - Under the moonlight and in front of the flowers
Definitely the place for lovers!
"Yue4 Xia4 Lao3 Ren2" - The old man under the moon.
The old man under the moon has everybody's records in safe keeping, and from studying these he can tell which man will marry which woman. i.e. Marriage is determined by fate, a theme which underlies many Chinese novels.
I hope you enjoyed these expressions about the moon.