A video to show you that culture is transmissible – Happy Mid-Autumn Festival !

Posted by Grace Feng on October 1, 2012

Do you think culture is transmissible? I do.

In this post I’ll introduce a classic Chinese poem, one of my favorite poems that is a best fit for today. Because today is ….

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!! (Moon Festival)


I’ll treat you with some moon cakes first, than we’ll move on … :-)

A video to show you that culture is transmissible - Happy Mid-Autumn Festival !

This poem 明月几时有 míngyuè jǐshí yǒu is written by 苏东坡 Sū Dōngpō in a Mid-Autumn Festival in year 1076. You’ll see how it is elegantly explained by a classic English movie: Jane Eyre in the following video. I read the original English novel “Jane Eyre” about 15 years ago, still love it!

中秋节 Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional Chinese festival that families and loved ones get together to celebrate. If families and loved ones are far apart, this is the time of the year that they connect with each other.

Being a good daughter, I called my parents in China this morning. :-)

Now let’s enjoy the poem sung by 王菲 Wáng Fēi in the story of Jane Eyre:

For readers that can’t access Youtube, here is another video of the song of this poem by 王菲 Wáng Fēi from Youku with Chinese subtitle.

míng yuè jĭ shí yŏu
明 月 几 时 有

míng yuè jĭ shí yŏu bă jiŭ wèn qīng tiān
明 月 几 时 有 , 把 酒 问 青 天 。

bù zhī tiān shàng gōng què jīn xī shì hé nián
不 知 天 上 宫 阙 , 今 夕 是 何 年 。

wŏ yù chéng fēng guī qù yòu kŏng qióng lóu yù yŭ
我 欲 乘 风 归 去 , 又 恐 琼 楼 玉 宇 ,

gāo chù bù shèng hán
高 处 不 胜 寒 .

qĭ wŭ nòng qīng yĭng hé sì zài rén jiān
起 舞 弄 清 影 , 何 似 在 人 间 。

zhuăn zhū gé dī qĭ hù zhào wú mián
转 朱 阁 , 低 绮 户 , 照 无 眠 。

bù yīng yŏu hèn hé shì cháng xiàng bié shí yuán
不 应 有 恨 , 何 事 长 向 别 时 圆 。

rén yŏu bēi huān lí hé yuè yŏu Yīn qíng yuán quē cĭ shì gŭ nán quán
人 有 悲 欢 离 合 , 月 有 阴 晴 圆 缺 , 此 事 古 难 全 。

dàn yuàn rén cháng jiŭ qiān lĭ gòng chán juān
但 愿 人 长 久 , 千 里 共 婵 娟 。


[English translation]

(Curtsey of http://iask.sina.com.cn)

Thinking of You

When will the moon be clear and bright?

With a cup of wine in my hand, I ask the blue sky.

I don’t know what season it would be in the heavens on this night.

I’d like to ride the wind to fly home.

Yet I fear the crystal and jade mansions are much too high and cold for me.

Dancing with my moon-lit shadow

It does not seem like the human world

The moon rounds the red mansion

Stoops to silk-pad doors

Shines upon the sleepless Bearing no grudge

Why does the moon tend to be full when people are apart?

People may have sorrow or joy, be near or far apart

The moon may be dim or bright, wax or wane

This has been going on since the beginning of time

May we all be blessed with longevity

Though far apart, we are still able to share the beauty of the moon together.

– Translated by Shun-Yi Lee in 1998


Related posts:

Let's sing a Chinese song of prayer [祈祷] today to wish for a peaceful tomorrow
An old mandarin song that I enjoy every time I listen to it - 心太软 [Too soft-hearted]
Obsessed with a song for men - 给自己的歌 Jonathan’s Song (Advanced Level)


Category: Chinese songs

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