China News Service, Beijing, September 23. Title: What are the cultural commonalities between Chinese and Western harvest festivals?
Author Cui Bailu
On September 23, China ushered in the fourth farmers harvest festival.
Festivals are the collective memory and cultural symbols of a nation, as well as the crystallization of the development of human civilization, containing rich cultural connotations and ideological cores.
China's Harvest Festival is no exception.
China has been based on agriculture since ancient times, and thousands of years of production practices have bred a long-standing Chinese farming civilization.
The calendar solar terms rooted here are an important basis for setting the harvest festival at the autumnal equinox.
The Western Han Dynasty Dong Zhongshu’s "Spring and Autumn Propagation Dew" says: "Autumn equinox, yin and yang are half, so day and night are even cold and hot." As a key node in the transition from sun to moon, the autumn equinox is particularly closely related to agriculture. The autumn harvest of huge fish fat is also facing a new round of autumn farming and autumn planting.
Therefore, people worship the moon at the autumn equinox and pray for good weather and good harvest.
This simple prayer not only evolved into a harvest festival, but also laid the foundation for the Chinese people's way of thinking and values of adapting to the times, harmony between man and nature, and harmonious coexistence with nature.
Data map: Pieces of golden rice fields are inlaid on the earth, beautiful scenery, showing a bumper harvest scene.
Photo by Li Jun
As a newly established festival in recent years, China's Harvest Festival has been given more contemporary significance.
Around the bumper harvest, many folklore activities such as traditional sacrifices, appraisal of fine foods, mutual markets for agricultural products, folklore performances, and sports competitions have been formed in various parts of China in the course of historical development.
In the past, such celebrations have always been based on regional and community spontaneous activities. At the national level, the formation of a festival for all people to participate in celebrating a good harvest not only includes respect for nature and joy of harvest, but also hard work for others. Respect of labor.
Nowadays, with the increase in grain production and farmers’ income, hundreds of millions of farmers in China have entered an all-round well-off society, and rural revitalization has been accelerating. Telling the story of the Harvest Festival is to tell the story of the farmers and the countryside, and the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. story.
Overlooking China, under the structure of the pluralistic integration of the Chinese nation, different ethnic groups celebrate the harvest with their own distinctive folk festivals, such as the Lusheng Festival of the Miao people, the Torch Festival of the Yi people, the Angdelin Festival of the Luoba people, the Singing Hall Festival of the Yao people, and Mongolia Nadam of the clan and so on.
Data map: Shilin Yi Autonomous County of Yunnan Province held a torch carnival. Tens of thousands of tourists and local people lit up torches, sang and danced around the bonfire, and spent the torch festival known as the "Oriental Carnival."
Photo by Ren Dong, China News Agency reporter
Looking at the world, the harvest festival also belongs to the world: Jews celebrate the harvest on Pentecost and thank God for his grace and pray for a good harvest in the coming year; the British decorate churches and hold religious ceremonies with harvested crops on Harvest Festival, and thank God for giving food; the United States Celebrate the harvest and reunion with Canadians in the form of Thanksgiving Day; Peru, Colombia and other South Americans pray for the coming year through sacrifices to the sun god and carnival celebrations...Civilization and culture resonate at the same frequency in different time and space, and are harmonious but different.
From ancient times to the present, human beings have always connected life, food and nature. Different civilizations express the joy of harvest and praise nature through worship, sacrifice, prayer, celebration, carnival and other methods.
But no matter how complicated the appearance, how different the forms, contents, and cultural and religious backgrounds of the celebration are, the existence of the Harvest Festival itself represents the common part of human civilization.
Data map: On Thanksgiving Day, a traditional American holiday, a shopping mall on Fifth Avenue in New York set up a festive light show to attract people to stop and watch.
Photo by China News Agency reporter Liao Pan
Praise for a good harvest, in the final analysis, the answer is the way of getting along with nature.
Faced with this question, the answers given by different civilizations are the same.
In the post-epidemic era, the Chinese Farmers Harvest Festival reflects that the harmonious coexistence of man and nature is the common value pursuit of all mankind.
In the face of numerous challenges, we should build a community of human and natural life together.