Saturday, September 22, 2007

中秋節 - Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival)

Last year, I spent Mid-Autumn Festival (zhong1 qiu1 jie2) in Penghu with a mostly nice family.

This year I'm spending it alone, and that is not a problem, but it reminds me of a Chinese poem from the Tang Dynasty, around 7 A.D. . . .

靜夜思
李白
牀前明月光,
疑是地上霜.
舉頭朢明月,
低頭思故鄉.

Here it is in pinyin (the number after the word is the tone):

Jing4 Ye4 Si1
Li3 Bai2
Chuang2 qian2 ming2 yue4 guang1,
yi2 shi4 di4 shang4 shuang1.
Ju3 tou2 wang4 ming2 yue4,
di1 tou2 si1 gu4 xiang1.

Roughly translated (by Herbert A. Giles, of the Wade-Giles crew--not to be confused with the J. Giles Band):

Night Thoughts
I wake, and moonbeams play around my bed,
Glittering like hoar-froast to my wandering eyes;
Up towards the glorious moon I raise my head,
Then lay me down- and thoughts of home arise.

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