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Tuesday, October 17, 2017
When celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival facing the same moonlight, who would you like most to reunite with?

Nung Chan Monastery organized a Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 celebration event at the Water-Moon Pool at 6 p.m. on September 30. After the Dharma assembly of offering light to the Buddha, some 1,000 participants started to circumambulate the pool while holding lamps in their hands, to send out good wishes as witnessed by the full moon reflection in the water.


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During Chinese New Year, many people go to temples to pray for blessings and prosperity. As a token of faith, they light lamps before the Buddha, praying for their wishes to be fulfilled and granted through the Buddha or a bodhisattva’s spiritual responses. To light a lamp in front of the Buddha is to light up our inner brightness, and the world as well, just as the sun shines on all sentient beings and the rain nurtures all creatures. It corresponds with the spirit of the Bodhisattva and reflects the meaning of lighting the lamp.
It is traditional for Chinese people to visit with each other when New Year comes; during these visits, they often drink tea together and chat, enjoying the opportunity to catch up with those they miss in their daily lives. Through the leisurely activity of drinking tea, friends, family, and even strangers come together and joyfully celebrate the New Year.
Making New Year’s visits is a traditional custom of the Chinese New Year. It is a way for people to exchange greetings and offer well-wishing to one another during the holiday. In fact, the original meaning of Chinese New Year is that it is a blessed time in which people should pay respects and offer their best wishes to one another.
On New Year’s Eve, the last day of the Chinese lunar calendar, the bell in the monastery will be rung 108 times, to bid farewell to the past and to welcome the future. In Buddhism, all vexations that arise from the six sense organs can be categorized into 108 different types; thus, ringing the bell 108 times represents the elimination of these vexations from the past, present and future.
In the west, every New Year is celebrated with firework displays on the eve of the New Year as well as exchanges of greeting cards. In contrast, the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival is celebrated from the eve of the New Year through the Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the month. The Lunar New Year is also the most significant festival amongst the three major Chinese festivals, namely, the Spring Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival. This Chinese New Year 2017 heralds the arrival of the Year of the Rooster, which will start on January 28.
Taiwan’s Lunar New Year also incorporates the use of the “Spring couplet,” a traditional Chinese form of poetic verse. The most important symbol of the Lunar New Year, the Spring couplet celebrates the ‘sweeping away’ of old things to usher in the new. On the day before Chinese New Year’s Eve, people paste the red spring couplet -- usually containing auspicious words such as “Spring,” “Blessing,” and “Abundance” -- on the doors, windows, and rice jar of their homes, along with other suitable places. It not only serves as a telling sign of the coming new year, but also aims to spread good wishes and blessings to all. The atmosphere is joyful, and for the Chinese people it is a time of great happiness and peace.
To share social warmth with needy families in the winter, Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Fountain organized the end-of-year care event at Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education at 9:30 a.m. on December 17, with around 400 local residents from Jinshan, Wanli, and Keelung participating. Apart from charity materials and gift money, the Praying for Blessings and Spiritual Feast activities also created a heartwarming atmosphere.
In the west, every New Year is celebrated with firework displays on the eve of the New Year as well as exchanges of greeting cards. In contrast, the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival is celebrated from the eve of the New Year through the Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the month. The Lunar New Year is also the most significant festival amongst the three major Chinese festivals, namely, the Spring Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival. This Chinese New Year 2017 heralds the arrival of the Year of the Rooster, which will start on January 28.
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