Surely the superstition of the week must be:
Mid Autumn Festival and the lady that floated to the Moon.
the 15th day of the 8th lunar month
Mooncakes are to Mid-Autumn Festival what mince pies are to Christmas. The seasonal round cakes traditionally have a sweet filling of lotus seed paste or red bean paste and often have one or more salted duck eggs in the center to represent the moon. And the moon is what this celebration is all about. Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, it is the time when the moon is said to be at its brightest and fullest.
There are two legends which claim to explain the tradition of eating mooncakes. One Tang Dynasty myth holds that the Earth once had 10 suns circling it. One day all 10 suns appeared at once, scorching the planet with their heat. It was thanks to a skillful archer named Hou Yi that the Earth was saved. He shot down all but one of the suns. As his reward, the Heavenly Queen Mother gave Hou Yi the Elixir of Immortality, but she warned him that he must use it wisely. Hou Yi ignored her advice and, corrupted by fame and fortune, became a tyrannical leader. Chang-Er, his beautiful wife, could no longer stand by and watch him abuse his power so she stole his Elixir and fled to the moon to escape his angry wrath. And thus began the legend of the beautiful woman in the moon, the Moon Fairy.
The second legend has it that during the Yuan Dynasty, an underground group led by Zhu Yuan Zang was determined to rid the country of Mongolian dominance. The moon cake was created to carry a secret message. When the cake was opened and the message read, an uprising was unleashed which successfully routed the Mongolians. It happened at the time of the full moon, which, some say, explains why mooncakes are eaten at this time.
Mooncakes are usually stamped with Chinese characters indicating the name of the bakery and the type of filling used. Some bakeries will even stamp them with your family name so that you can give personalised ones to friends and family. They are usually presented in boxes of four which indicate the four phases of the moon. Traditional mooncakes are made with melted lard, but today vegetable oil is more often used in the interests of health.
Mooncakes are not for the diet-conscious as they are loaded with calories. The best way to wash down one of these sticky cakes is with a cup of Chinese tea, especially Jasmine or Chrysanthemum tea, which aids the digestion.
One of the nicest things about Taiwan must be the beautifully illustrated (Chinese) books that you can’t get from the Mainland until very recently. Mainland tend to publish books which are essentially just black and white text. Even then you have to learn to read the simplified Chinese characters which are a bit irritating. I am talking about books on Chinese medicine or acupuncture or “xue dao” in particular here.
I am also kind of curious what “clapping” has to do with diabetes or whether there is any basis in Chinese acupuncture point theory to suggest any curative effects.
For those who are new to pressure points I will briefly explain the “theory”. Our human body is suppose to be lined or covered with tiny almost nerve endings like points where the body’s energy or Qi is suppose to flow through. By stimulating these pressure points , it is apparently possible to shift the various energy levels or “reservoirs” in the body to their appropriate levels. Since sickness results from imbalances of various reservioirs of energies, and there are suppose to be six reservoirs and 3 main forms of energies, it is according to theory possible to energise or defeat disease through pressure point stimulation …blah blah blah.
Anyway the main areas of control or stimulations is on one’s head (and neck), feet and hands. Also on the back and even odd places like underneath the tongue. Nowadays all pressure points are tested scientifically (or catalogue) just as you would with a new drug in western medicine. The tongue treatment that I mentioned is currently being documented at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for treating children with a certain muscle disorder.
Coming back to the hand, and lookng at my acupresure textbook which I got from taiwan ; there is actually no presure point or spot for diabetes in the hand,( there is one in the feet) ; but the plumb part of one’s hand if you hold out your hand with the palm facing your face as if you are going to read your own palm, just along the ‘life’ line next to the plumbiest part of your hand is a spot or a range of spots which should be extremely valueble to the ladies. Yes if you press along this life line, as if circling the root of the thumb, it is suppose to control weight, as in fat absorption and fat retention. But clapping action could not really stimulate this area so I am still somewhat baffled.
Finally although we cannot design any instrument yet to measure/detect Qi, the “foundation” of accupuncture theory, I personally have no doubt that the “clinical side” of the pressure points theory really work. It is almost like we know the apple will fall but can’t define gravity. Also anyone who has read physics esp post newtonian or Einstein physics would probably agree with me that just because you cannot define (detect) it, does not mean it does not exists!