The Mid-autumn Festival

Amy Tan portrays the third greatest festival of the Chinese people in “The Moon Lady,” as a single separate chapter in The Joy Luck Club. Therefore, her approach clearly implies how important the Moon festival is for the Chinese people. Before I researched for my essay (that we have recently done), I was thinking that Tan has created the story of the Moon Lady by herself to make the novel more intricate and convincing. However, after research, I got to know that the Chinese people really commemorate the Mid-autumn festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar with profuse excitement and extravagance like we celebrate Bijaya Dashami in Nepal.

Moreover, I enjoyed reading the small drama in the chapter in which some people pretend to be the Moon Lady, whereas some pretend to be her husband Hou Yi. Firstly, I was thinking that they created the play making the main character the Moon Lady just because of the Festival, but I had thought that from where the concept came. During my research, I read detailed information about the festival, and knew that the story in the drama is one of the most popular legends about the existence of the Moon Lady.

 According to the legend, once, there were ten suns in the sky, so the Emperor ordered a bowman to destroy nine of the suns. Meanwhile, I was a bit distracted. I was thinking, oh! What would happen if there were really ten suns? I am sure I wouldn’t be here reading about the Moon festival. Even the imagination is making me sweat and shudder, what if I am exposed to ten suns in real life? I would be converted into ash within a fraction of a second. Coming back from the distraction, I continued to read about the topic that after the archer, Hou Yi had done what he was supposed to do; the Emperor bestowed him an immortality pill. Unfortunately, his wife finds the pill and takes it. As a result, she is banished to stay in the moon. Since then the couple have been separated from one another and meet only on the night of the mid-autumn night. Hence, this festival is celebrated to admire the meeting of the couple.

I could just imagine how amazing it would be to meet the husband after a year long departure.

Response on “The Moon Lady”

I got mixed feelings while reading “The Moon Lady.” From the first part I got an image of a child who is raised among luxury and comforts, but I also observed one thing that she was mostly accompanied and pampered by her nurse, not her mother. I have noticed this in other stories and films that those children who belong to rich families are mostly brought up by their nurses or maids. I really don’t understand this matter. Is it because the rich mothers remain busy for other social responsibilities, or they just don’t feel that urgency to look after their children? A maid is indeed a maid; she can never be a mother.  I should also mention that I am not talking about working mothers here.

I felt pity on Ying Ying when she lost herself. I could realize Ying Ying’s feelings while getting lost because it took me six years back from now when I also lost myself in a museum. In 2005, I went to a trip around Dhaka city with my sister and one of my cousines. After visiting all the floors of the musuem, I was looking at some paintings. When I am done with the paintings I looked around and could not find my sister and cousin. Then I just went through the exit door and waited at the main gate. For a while, it seemed to me that may be my sister and cousin have already left without me. Various thoughts were striking my mind at that time. I was nervous and felt like to cry. After sometime, I saw my cousin’s face in the crowd. Then he took me to my sister who was about to cry. She scolded me for being so careless, but getting lost was more shameful to me because I had been born in Dhaka and I didn’t know much of it. My cousin, who was new in Dhaka had said that he thought of me a very smart girl who can never get lost. Through this incident he got to know that I don’t know anything of the city. That day I realized that what is my ability and how far can I go by myself, but I am happy as I am much independent and can travel anywhere by myself now.

I have also some confusion about the story. The part when Ying Ying gets lost is quite superficial to me. When some fishermen rescue her and asked her family if they have lost anyone, her family members make fun and denies. Why did they do like that? Were they not concerned about their daughter? Did they want to get rid off her?



In the chapter “The Moon Lady,” Ying-Ying St. Clair wished “to be found” after she got lost. Nobody recognized her; indeed some fishermen thought that she was a beggar. Before that, her identification had connected to her affluent family, but after getting lost, her identification began to get loose. Many times, I wonder who I am.  Am I Tram Pham? Am I a Vietnamese? Or am I a catholic? Am I deserved to be a Vietnamese person or catholic? Sometimes being proud of a Vietnamese student who is somehow good at math, but many times I feel ashamed of my pronunciation. Sometimes, being proud of to be a catholic whose God is very wonderful and kind, but many times I feel as if I were tied to strict traditions and taboos. My root seemed to be shaky since I came to AUW because I am not competent and brave enough to illuminate the reputation of Vietnam and my God. Always complains about disadvantages of a Vietnamese person and a catholic: education is not good, politic is communist, and society has many problems. However, what have I done to bring benefits to my country and religion? Nothing. I only complain and complain. Many people who live away from their countries, at the end of their lives, have hopes to return to their families and homelands because they understand that their identifications belong to these places. How about me? I, many times, endeavor to hide and escape from my root, my origin, and my destiny. What kind of people am I? Should I belong to everything I have owned now? Thank you my homeland and beloved people for giving me those things, and I am very sorry for having concealed the title of a Vietnamese person and a catholic. Today, I know that you—my country and family are waiting for me. You are encouraging me to do something to bring happiness to myself and beloved people and to be deserved with soldiers who have sacrificed their efforts, times, and even their lives to bring peace and autonomy to my life. I will endeavor my best to make some contributions to the process of realizing Uncle Ho’s dream about a bright future when Vietnam will equate with other countries in the world.