Among the folk-custom, sacrifice and celebration activities, those ones such as waiting for the lunar corona, honoring the Osmanthus God and carrying God of the Spring have a direct link with sweet-scented osmanthus and Chang’e.
Waiting for the lunar corona is an ancient activity when people offer sacrifices to the moon on Mid-Autumn Festival. It was said that in the Eastern Jin Dynasty because of the lasting severe drought in Xian’an District, osmanthus tree was difficult to flowering, resulting a poor harvest, and the local osmanthus planters had to ask Taoist priest Ge Hong for help, who made his innere alchemie near Mingshui Hotspring of Guabang Mountain. Saddened by the hard livelihood of local people, Ge guided the villagers to offer sacrifices to the moon for blessing. Therefore on the mid-autumn full moon night local males set incense burner table in the open space near the pond where there was large osmanthus trees, worshipped the Goddess of the Moon, and waited for the lunar corona, praying for heaven to rain to bring a good harvest. It was worth mentioning that especially in front of central room in ancestral house of Leis’ family, with a full moon in the air, the officiant washed his hands, at the same time the deacon ignited the spill with flint, with which the official burned incense. Then outside the servant set off firecrackers, and played festive lanterns of different sizes. After the band played and drummed for three times, the official took the honour guard in order into ancestral hall to offer sacrifices to ancestors, whose team consisted of deacon, clan flag bearers, flag and umbrella bearers, dragon and phoenix standard-bearers, sacrifice players, small lantern bearers, lotus lantern bearers and three eye blunderbuss bearers. The large lantern bearers made a detour by west to the opposite of the pond and stood on the central axis, with the band playing outside the ancestral hall. Besides, the band and blunderbuss bearers unified in yellow clothes, while the rest wore white-breasted coat and white baggies. Afterwards, the honour guard went to the outdoors, standing on both sides in the shape of the figure eight. With the incense burner table and offerings for sacrificing the moon already prepared, the official read the spell, and a series of activities began, including pleasing God, entertaining God, praising God and sending the Goddess of the Moon.
With people offering sacrifices to the moon and enjoying the moonlight around the moon pond, this kind of custom oriented by offering sacrifices to the moon and waiting for the lunar corona broke the traditional custom of the Han area that men were not allowed to sacrifice the moon while women couldn’t honour the Kitchen God, which was unique in Xian’an District. This special custom coincided with the time of traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, coupled with the continuous development of folk heritage; it has become equipped with the greatest geographical and cultural characteristic in Xian’an District.
The second main activity is to honor the Osmanthus God. Before collecting osmanthus on the tree, the master of a family should burn incense in front of the tallest osmanthus tree of his yard. And it is required that he must wash hands and faces first, and then wear white clothes to incense. On the other hand, his wife and children should spread out a piece of white cloth under the tree to encase the osmanthus. In addition, what should be paid attention is that menstruating women may not move closer to the osmanthus tree, so as not to offend the Osmanthus God.
The last is carrying God of Spring. Every year at the time between Spring Festival and the beginning of spring, several villages will hold the big ritual activity, whose costumes and performances is a kind of reflection of primitive religious worship. However, it now appears that carrying God of Spring is also a kind of publicity campaign that with the approaching of spring, it is high time for every household to reclaim and fertilize for the osmanthus tree to strive for a bumper harvest of the Osmanthus on Mid-Autumn Festival.