World Of Feng Shui USA welcomes in the Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, the celebration that is associated with the full moon because it falls on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, which at that time of the year, the moon is at its roundest. In 2014, the Moon Festival falls on September 8th.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival, after the Spring Festival, in China. On this day, family members gather to appreciate the bright full moon, eat moon cakes at night, and spend time with their love ones.
Chinese legend has it that in ancient times, ten suns existed and the extreme heat made people’s lives very difficult. It was the hero Hou Yi who, owing to his great strength, shot down nine of the ten suns. On hearing of this amazing feat and the hero who performed it, people came from far reaches to learn from him. Peng Meng was among these people. Later, Hou Yi married a beautiful and kind woman named Chang E and lived a happy life.
One day, Hou Yi came upon the Queen of Heaven, Wangmu, on the way to meet a friend. Wangmu presented him with an elixir which, if drunk, would cause him to ascend immediately to heaven and become an immortal. However, instead of drinking the potion himself, Hou Yi took it home and presented it to his wife, Chang E, to keep. Unfortunately, Peng Meng secretly saw Hou Yi give the potion to his wife and wanted immortality for himself. While Hou Yi was out hunting, Peng Meng accosted Chang E and demanded that she hand over the elixir. Knowing that she could not win, she took out the elixir and swallowed it immediately. The moment she drank it, she flew out of the window and up into the sky. Chang E’s great love for her husband drew her towards the moon, which is the nearest heavenly body to the earth.
Upon discovering what happened to his wife, Hou Yi was so grief stricken that he shouted Chang E’ s name to the sky and was amazed to see a figure which looked just like his wife appeared in the moon. He took the food liked by Chang E to an altar and offered it as a sacrifice for her. Hou Yi’s neighbors also burned incense and prepared food to express their good wishes to the kind Chang E. This is an ancient legend explaining how the custom of Moon offerings came about.
Different customs have evolved in different areas regarding this traditional festival. The most significant customs are to appreciate and offer sacrifice to the round bright moon and eat moon cakes. Other activities like dragon dancing and doing obeisance to the moon are also considered highly important. Today, sacrifice has been replaced by a simple appreciation of the moon. Members of a family usually sit around a table eating and talking to their heart content and at the same time admiring the bright moon. While looking up the moon, people will think of their relatives afar and good wishes are expressed in their mind.
As with every Chinese holiday, the Mid-Autumn Festival has its own special food. People eat moon cakes for celebration. The moon cake is a kind of cookie with various fillings and on the surface are printed different artistic patterns depicting the story of Chang E flying to the moon. People treated this kind of food as one of the sacrificial offerings to the moon in the old days. Today, it has become an indispensable food while appreciating the bright moon for every family. Moon cakes come in various flavors which change according to the region but common fillings are nuts, sugar, sesame, ham and egg yolk.
As the moon cake is round in shape, it symbolizes 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.
The World Of Feng Shui USA family wishes everyone near and far a wonderful Moon Festival and may there be much wealth, good health and happiness always.
The Power of Prayer Flags
A prayer flag is a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes. Prayer flags are believed to have originated with Bon, which predated Buddhism in Tibet. In Bon, shamanistic Bonpo used primary-colored plain flags in healing ceremonies in Nepal. Traditional prayer flags include woodblock-printed text and images.
Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to gods, which is a common misconception; rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all. By hanging flags in high places the Lung ta, the Windhorse, will carry the blessings depicted on the flags to all beings. As wind passes over the surface of the flags, which are sensitive to the slightest movement of the wind, the air is purified and sanctified by the mantras. The prayers of a flag become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure to the elements. Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old. This act symbolizes a welcoming of life’s changes and an acknowledgment that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.
Because the symbols and mantras on prayer flags are sacred, they should be treated with respect. They should not be placed on the ground or used on clothing. Old prayer flags should be burned. Old prayer flags are replaced with new ones annually.
Some believe that if the flags are hung on inauspicious astrological dates, they may bring negative results for as long as they are flying. The best time to put up new prayer flags is in the morning on sunny, windy days.
In Feng Shui, we use prayer flags to promote good fortune and to ward off danger. The 5 colors represents the 5 elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Metal and Wood). Hanging assorted prayer flags at home will invite in much auspicious energy.
ALL PRAYER FLAGS ARE 25% OFF FOR THE HUNGRY GHOST MONTH
PLUS FREE SHIPPING with minimum of purchase of $48.00 until August 24th.
Sale not valid with other promo, except for free shipping with minimum of $48.00 promo. Sale not valid with any other discount. Sale not valid with already discounted items.
Don’t forget to update the monthly flying stars.
August 2014 Flying Star Chart
|NW: 5 Yearly / 3 Monthly
||N: 9 Yearly / 7 Monthly
||NE: 7 Yearly / 5 Monthly
|W: 6 Yearly / 4 Monthly
||C: 4 Yearly / 2 Monthly
||E: 2 Yearly / 9 Monthly
|SW: 1 Yearly / 8 Monthly
||S: 8 Yearly / 6 Monthly
||SE: 3 Yearly / 1 Monthly
Southwest: Sheep and Monkey have great career potential. There’s a high probability of a raise and work recognition. Enhance with a running Water Feature and hang Wind Horse Prayer Flags, in the Southwest, to brings success and wealth. However, carry a Cicada Amulet or wear the Fabulous Bird DZI Bracelet to protect against jealous co-workers.
Center: Protect against low energy and illness with a Golden Wu Lou with Longevity God. Try to keep stress out of your relationship with a pair of Lovebirds in the Center. Everyone should carry the Medicine Buddha Card or wear the Medicine Buddha DZI Bracelet to protect their health.
West: There is great potential for love for the single Rooster. Be sociable, go out, meet new people and wear the 2 Eye Dzi Bracelet. Enhance the West with a pair of Rose Quartz Mandarin Ducks. For those in school, ensure for high grades with the the Crystal Point with Wisdom Mantra on their study desk.
South: The Horse have good investment luck this month. Display the Gesar of Ling plaque in the South sector. For those in high risk positions, wear the Mantra Ring with the Mantra of King Gesar and Guru Rinpoche to ensure Heaven’s blessings of victory and success.
North: Those with North facing homes or entries or those born under the Rat zodiac sign should be wary of strangers. There is high risk of accident, robbery and loss of money. Make sure to place a pair of Blue Rhino in the North facing the entry. Try to exhaust the metal energy of the #7 Star with a water feature or the Rhino and Elephant Yin Water Cups. It is a good idea to carry the Blue Rhino amulet at all time and put a pack of 6 Peacock Feathers in the glove compartment of the car to protect against accidents. Avoid extreme sports and avoid late night outings.
East: Those residing in the East room, those with East facing homes/entries or those born under the Rabbit zodiac sign will be prone to illness this month. It does not help that the #9 Multiplying Star resides in the same sector as the yearly #2 Illness Star making the illness energy that is already there much stronger. If you have elderly parents at home, try to have them avoid the East sector. Make sure to display the White Tara Longevity Vase or a metal Wu Lou next to the bed and carry the Health Amulet at all time. Hang the Medicine Buddha Prayer Flags or invite in the Medicine Buddha to the East sector to protect against sickness and for healing energy. It is an excellent idea to play the Medicine Buddha Mantra CD in the east room this month.
Southeast: Career luck is good for the Dragon and Snake zodiacs. Make sure that you have the support of your supervisor by carrying the Heaven Luck Activator Key Chain. Make sure that there is no potential for misunderstanding by displaying 6 Smooth Crystal Balls on your work desk and invite the Earth Buddha into the Southeast.
Northwest: The Dog and the Boar zodiac signs should be careful of obstacles that can come from misunderstandings. Invite the Earth Buddha into the Northwest along with the Kalachakara Stupa. These are extremely powerful cures and very important for the Patriarch of the household or business to protect against obstacles that can come from misunderstandings. It is ideal to also carry the Ksitigarbha Card for extra protection.
Northeast: The Tiger and Ox zodiac signs should carry the 5 Yellow Key Chain at all time to protect against obstacles. If your house is Northeast facing or if your front door is located in this sector, make sure to hang the Kalachakra Door Plaque and display a pair of Rhino facing the door. If you drive a lot, hang the Blue Rhino in your car to protect against accidents and car theft.
Click here for information regarding 2014 Yearly Flying Star chart.