On September 27th, the Ling family all gathered together in one house to celebrate the Lunar Festival together.
“It was really important for us to be together, because just like the Lunar Festival celebrates the full moon, the full family should come together that day,” recalls Ling Li, mother of the family, “we were all really happy to be together, because it was one of the few times that we could actually get together. Our children are sent to boarding schools, you see, and my husband and I each have travelling jobs. So, normally during the year the only contact we have of each other is through telephone…that’s why the Lunar Festival was so important to us.”
However, on 9:12 pm, when Ling Li started handing out delicious moon cakes to her children, she noticed something was wrong. “The moon turned blood red, and it appeared to be waning. I didn’t know what to do–my kids noticed it too, and said to me ‘mommy is the moon going to die? Is this a bad omen that there is going to be bad stuff happening in the future–will the family wan, just like the moon?'” says Ling Li.
She explained that this was just a natural phenomenon, and that it was the result of the Earth casting a shadow onto the moon, but her kids wouldn’t accept it. She says that, in fact, they were so agitated by the waning moon that they refused to eat their moon cakes. “I was so angry! I had worked so hard into those moon cakes, taken a day off work just to make them, poured my life, spirit and blood into them!” says Li, “but my kids just refused to eat my moon cakes. I was going to discipline them…”
But later she says she understood how her kids felt: “I guess I understand: What are you supposed to do on a Lunar festival, when you don’t have a moon to celebrate?”