The Mid-Autumn Festival is being held in several Asian societies. In China, it’s family reunion time, much like Thanksgiving, while in Vietnam, it’s more like a children’s day. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival. Traditionally, it falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar.
How the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in Asian countries
The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most popular festival in China after the Chinese New Year. Chinese people celebrate this by meeting for dinners and lighting paper lanterns.
Popular traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival involve family members having dinner together, such as a Thanksgiving dinner, sharing mooncakes, worshiping the moon with presents, displaying lanterns, and regional events.
A special annual fire dragon show is held in the Tai Hang neighborhood of Hong Kong during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Chinese people increasingly prefer to travel during their holidays to avoid the busy days.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is commonly celebrated in many East Asian cultures. There are many fun events with special local features.
In Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines – three countries with many ethnic Chinese people – there are more Chinese festivals, such as lighting lanterns and dragon dances. In other nations, such as Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, which have also been profoundly influenced by Chinese culture, modern celebrations have been drawn from their particular cultures.
Why the Moon Festival is celebrated
The Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival was held at harvest time in the past. Ancient Chinese emperors worshiped the moon in autumn to thank it for its harvest. The common people took part in the Mid-Autumn Festival to celebrate their hard work and their harvest. Today, people primarily observe the festival as a time for family reunions.
The Mid-Autumn Festival has a tradition of more than 3,000 years. It was derived from the practice of worshiping the moon during the Shang Dynasty (c.1600–1046 BC). It was first celebrated as a national festival during the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127).
People have long believed that worshiping the moon and dining together around a round table would bring them good luck and happiness.
People in various cities in China have different customs and favorite places to enjoy a public holiday in September.
What the Chinese Eat for Mid-Autumn Festival
Mooncakes are the must-have mid-autumn snack in China. It’s a popular Chinese pastry. In the roundness of the mooncakes, Chinese people see a sign of reunion and happiness.
The rituals of the festival food are also evolving. The younger generation has its own ideas about what to eat. Most of them don’t like mooncakes, and they tend to eat whatever they like.
Other foods consumed during the festival include crabs, pumpkins, grapefruit, and oranges. People enjoy them with their freshest, most nutritious, and auspicious definitions, particularly when it comes to round foods.
This year, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is on October 1.