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Rotorua Mooncake Festival 2012


Sat 29 Sep 2012, 6:30pm–8:30pm

Where: Soundshell and Village Green, Memorial Drive, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General admission donation: $2.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Susana So

In Rotorua, we will showcase local Chinese talents. They will perform traditional Chinese dances such as Han Dynasty Dance, Tai Chi Fan Dance, Lotus Flower Dance, Chinese Tibetan Dance, Chopsticks Dance and more. Our special guest, Ben Chen (Chinese Director at Confucius Institute at Victoria University) will play hulusi, a typical Chinese minority music instrument popular in southwest of China. The main music piece is called "The Hedge Bamboo in the Moonlight".

There will be Chinese food and mooncakes for sale in the auditorium. Doors will be open to public from 6:15pm for name registration and donation collection. Auditorium seating capacity: 300. First come, first serve.

To register, please text "mooncake festival" plus your full name to (021) 1593601.

This event is brought to you by Multicultural Rotorua, in cooperation with Rotorua Chinese Association and Rotorua Newcomers Network. Supported by Confucius Institute at Victoria University and the New Zealand and China Trade and Culture Exchange Centre. It is our contribution to the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme 2012.

Festival Background:
The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival) is linked to a legend with many story variations involving an Emperor, 10 suns, Wangmu (Queen of Heaven), a couple- Hou Yi (great archer) and his wife Chang E, an elixir of life, an apprentice and a rabbit. We chose this version to share: Once upon a time there were ten suns in the sky and the earth became very hot. Hou Yi shot nine suns and left one. The emperor was pleased and offered him a reward. He was in love with a maiden named Chang E and so she was given to him to be his wife and and they lived happy together. One day Hou Yi met Wangmu who gave him a pill- an elixir of life for his heroic deed. He presented it to his wife Chang E to keep while he was away hunting. However an apprentice saw it and threatened to take the pill from Chang E so she swallowed it and immediately her great love for Hou Yi drew her towards the moon. When Hou Yi returned, he was heartbroken and he shouted Chang E's name to the sky. Then he saw a figure on the moon that looks like Chang E. So he took her favourite food to the altar as a sacrifice for her. This is the basis of making and giving mooncakes during mid-autumn. Now about the rabbit, legend has it that a jade rabbit lives with Chang E on the moon to constantly pound the elixir of life for her.

Chinese people all over the world celebrate the Mooncake Festival. It is the only time in the year that mooncakes are produced. "It comes in various flavors which change according to the region but common fillings are various nuts, lotus paste, lotus seeds, red or yellow beans and egg yolks. As the moon cake is round in shape, it symbolises the reunion of a family, so it is easy to understand how the eating of moon cakes under the round moon can inspire the missing of distant relatives. Nowadays, people present the moon cakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life." (source: Wikipedia and

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