The Autumn Moon Festival in eighth-century China is a time of relaxation and rejoicing. The frantic activities of the harvest have drawn to a close; crops are no longer at risk to weather and calamity; the peace of winter is about to descend. It is a time of transition. In the Chinese district of Chi-Ka and in its principal city of Chi-Ka-Go, the festival is an occasion for fireworks, parades, music and gaiety. Traditionally, the Festival of the Autumn Moon is also an occasion for reflection and thanksgiving. In many households, the entire family gathers and an elaborate feast is prepared. Effigies representing Happiness, Wealth and Long Life are displayed, and some families, recalling the ancient traditions, conclude the celebration with a bonfire in which the effigies are burned, their smoke rising to the heavens to signify gratitude and respect. Two of the wealthiest families of the district, the Wu and the Hoo families, have for many generations celebrated the festival together.
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Hoo Hung Wu