Origins & Celebrations Of Mid-Autumn Festival (Mooncake Festival)Sep 21, 2021
The festival is also known as the Moon Festival, the Mooncake Festival, or the Mid-Autumn Festival. In the Chinese lunar calendar, which is usually in September or October on the Gregorian calendar, it falls on the 15th day of the eighth month.
It will occur on September 21st in 2021, around the full moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival (Tuesday). It is estimated that from September 19th to 21st, the average Chinese citizen will take three days off work.
In addition to China, other Asian cultures also hold mid-autumn festivals. Like Thanksgiving, it's a time for families to gather in China, but for Vietnamese families, it's more like a children's celebration.
Second only to Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important festivals in China. To honour the new moon, people of China gather for dinners, worship the moon, and burn paper lanterns.
Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival
People all over China celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in different ways. The traditional celebrations that have the most following are listed below.
In Chinese minds, the roundness of the moon represents family reunification.
On the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival, families will have dinner together.
It is primarily for Chinese people working in different places to have time to spend with family members during the public holiday. The usual occurrence is for those who live too far away from their parents' home to socialise with friends.
The round shape and sweet flavour of mooncakes makes them the most representative food for the Mid-Autumn Festival. On special occasions, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, family members gather together and cut a mooncake into pieces to share its sweetness.
For different consumers, mooncakes come in a variety of forms (round, square, heart-shaped, animal-shaped, etc.) and flavours, increasing their desirability and allure. Super-sized mooncakes are displayed in some shopping malls to attract customers.
ADMIRING THE MOON
In Chinese culture, a full moon symbolises family reunions. The moon on the night of Mid-Autumn Festival is traditionally described as being the brightest and most beautiful.
While enjoying mooncakes, Chinese people will often sit outside to gaze at the full moon. A popular version of the storey of Chang'e goes like this: Parents with small children tell the storey of Chang'e flying to the moon. According to the rules of the game, kids play by trying to find the outline of Chang'e on the moon.
Want to tell your family the storey of the Mid-Autumn Festival? The 3-minute video below will tell you everything you need to know.
WORSHIPPING THE MOON
In folklore, Chang'e, a maiden from the moon, is said to have a pet rabbit with her. Mooncakes, snacks, fruits, and a pair of candles are set out under the moon for the Mid-Autumn Festival. According to some, Chang'e (the moon goddess) may help people fulfil their wishes if they worship her.
CREATING COLOURFUL LANTERNS
Kids' favourite activity is this. Many different types of lanterns come in the Mid-Autumn festival including animals, plants, and flowers. When the lanterns are placed in trees or on houses, this gives rise to beautiful night scenes.
For health, crops, marriages, love, and education, some Chinese write good wishes on lanterns. In some rural regions, locals float lanterns on rivers and release them, giving them the appearance of prayers granted.
Additionally, other activities have emerged for modern Chinese people to engage in, including sending WeChat red envelopes and travelling during the three-day national holiday.
CELEBRATED IN OTHER COUNTRIES
The Mid-Autumn Festival is widely celebrated in Asian communities besides China. Many unusual local activities are available.
It's definitely more Chinese in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, three countries with many ethnic Chinese citizens. People often get involved with lantern- and dragon-dancing celebrations, like the ones mentioned above. While there is no public holiday on the date, the date is the same as in China.
New celebrations in other countries, such as Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, have emerged from their unique cultures after having been deeply influenced by China.
MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL GREETINGS
It's a lovely time of year around the mid-autumn festival. In order to express their best wishes to friends and family, many Chinese people send e-cards or short messages during the festival. 'Happy Mid-Autumn Festival' is the most frequently used greeting.
One of the more popular sayings is most likely to have something to do with the moon or reunion. Furthermore, for example:
Best wishes for a long and prosperous life as we share the light of the moon.
Time flies like an arrow. Illusions deceive like magic.
Wishing you a happy mid-autumn festival! May the round moon grant you the blessing of a long and fruitful life.
Nothing in this world is given to us. Everything we have is obtained through hard work and honest endeavour.
Many people celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival by giving gifts to family, friends, co-workers, and parents. When it comes to selecting a gift, mooncakes are the top choice.
One popular mooncake shape over the years has been animal forms, flower forms, heart shapes, and so on, but round mooncakes remain the most cherished because of their association with reunions.
Fresh hairy crab (particularly around Shanghai) is another popular gift. Tea, fruit baskets, and organic rice and oil are also widely sought after.
TYPES OF FOOD EATEN ON MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL
The traditional meaning of the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrating the harvest, which is why the people in that area favour harvest foods during the festival. The main ingredients of the most celebrated Mid-Autumn festival dishes are:
Mid-Autumn Mooncakes are the must-eat Chinese festival food. The good news is that these are just standard Chinese pastries. In the roundness of mooncakes, the Chinese see a representation of reunion and happiness.
At the festival, other foods that are typically harvested, such as crabs, pumpkins, pomelos, and grapes, are also eaten. The most enjoyable times to eat them are when they are at their freshest and most nutritious, and in these times their auspicious meanings that are commonly associated with round foods is relevant.
DOES THE MOON LOOK BIGGER AT MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL?
It has been a traditional saying in China that "the moon is very full during the Mid-Autumn Festival." For the Chinese, the Mid-Autumn Festival Moon is brighter, bigger, and fuller than it really is.
The supermoon's chances of occurring at any other time of the year are equal to the rest of the time.
Many believe that the Mid-Autumn Festival is the ideal night to see the full moon. However, this belief is not entirely correct as the harvest moon (the full moon closest to the fall equinox) is not always in sync with Mid-Autumn Festival, which is at odds with popular belief.
When it comes to the full moon, there are years in which it occurs on the festival day, while there are other years in which it is the day after the festival. Because celebrating the happiness of a family reunion is considered more important than looking at the moon on the night of Mid-Autumn Festival, this doesn't affect Chinese people's enjoyment of the night of Mid-Autumn Festival.
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