"The Lunar Rebellion"
(Scene 1) The calm before the storm
Early 13th century, China, Southern Song Dynasty.
It was a time of peace and prosperity. Commerce, culture, and technology achieved
previously unattained heights. Under the leadership of an able government, the
people were well-clothed and had ample food. it was truly considered one of the
Golden Eras in Chinese history. But little did they know that death and destruction
loomed just beyond the northern horizon...
(Scene 2) Descent of darkness
1206 A. D.
An immense Mongolian host gathered at Wu Nan, north of the Middle Kingdom. The
Mongolians, fierce nomadic horsemen, unmatched in the art of mounted combat. Led
by Tie Mu Zhen, later known as Genghis Khan, or the "Great Khan", the foundations
for the Mongol Empire were laid. Genghis Khan unleashed his Mongolian hordes,
sweeping across the face of Northern Asia. They came, they saw, and they conquered.
1271 A. D.
Kubulai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, officially heralded the start of a new
Mongolian era, a period he termed the Yuan Dynasty. Leading his battled-hardened
clansmen in an army the likes of which had never before been witnessed, Kubulai
began the invasion of China.
(Scene 3) Resistance
Fierce resistance was encountered from the Chinese. Pugilists from every sect
and society put aside age-old differences and fought the invaders. During this
chaotic period, many heroes emerged from the ranks of the common people, joining
the struggle to drive back the Mongolians. Marshal of the Resistance, Wen Tian
Xiang, bravely held on to vital strongholds in Guangxi, Jingmen, and Fujian with
an army of patriots.
(Scene 4) Death...and despair
Sadly, the defending armies fell before the might of the Mongolian hordes. Marshal
Wen was captured and subsequently executed. Seeing that the situation was hopeless,
the Song Prime Minister, along with the child Emperor, took their lives.
1279 A. D.
China was conquered by the Mongolians and the Yuan Dynasty began.
(Scene 5) The straw that broke the camel's back
Decline of the Yuan Dynasty.
After 3 centuries of rule, the Mongolian government in China became corrupt and
the economy took a downturn. Years of poor harvests led to severe famine, the
nobles exploited the peasants mercilessly in their greed, causing great suffering
among the common people. It was a time of simmering unrest, a period where the
people started to find courage and determination in the midst of their suffering
to strain against the harsh, unyielding yoke of their Mongolian masters.
(Scene 6) Hope stirs anew
The Mongolians treated their Chinese subjects harshly, for fear of uprising. As
the Mid-Autumn Festival drew close, the Chinese had a flash of inspiration - they
began inserting little notes into the traditional mooncakes baked specially for
the celebration, messages that called for an organised and concerted rebellion.
These mooncakes were widely distributed to the common people, and within them,
the dates, times and pre-arranged signals with which the Chinese could finally
regain their freedom after so many centuries of relentless foreign oppression.
Hope stirred anew in the people's hearts. Spirits revived. Silently, they bade
(Scene 7) To battle!
1429 A.D. Night of the Mid-Autunn Festival
The unsuspecting Mongolians held banquets in their palaces, celebrating the Festival
amidst lavish entertainment and sumptious feasts. Exotic mooncakes of every imaginable
variety were served, but never would the Mongolian rulers have guessed that this
unique dessert of humble origins would play such a key role in their downfall...
(Scene 8) Freedom!
The people of China, spurred on by the messages hidden in the mooncakes, galvanized
into action. Led by Zhu1 Yuan2 Zhang1, a legendary folk hero, they fell upon the
Mongolians, re-conquering cities throughout China and eventually driving the invaders
back to their northern plains. In the month of August on the following year, the
Yuan Dynasty fell.
Since then, mooncakes have been eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival as a
celebration of the successful rebellion.
Disclaimer: Although the events in this story are not purely fictitious, the
protrayal of Mongolians as the bad guys was written solely for entertainment purposes.
History always paints the losers in a bad light so one cannot pin the entire blame
on them for the people's sufferings. Any resemblance to persons living or dead
is definitely unintentional. :)