Take a Look at Mid-autumn Festival – Moon, Cakes, Love & More

Posted on Nov 5, 2014 by in Chinese Festival, Concerning China

Hello guys! I’m sure you’ve heard of Mid-Autumn Festival in China from your Chinese lady?  When the holiday is coming, the Chinese are at work preparing for their, very own thanksgiving ceremony, known to the world as the Mid-Autumn Festival. An occasion that has been celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar since Zhou Dynasty, it is now a festival that Chinese all over the world celebrate. You probably won’t find a hard set date on the Gregorian calendar, but it always is celebrated on a full moon night, or at least coincides with it.

How Chinese Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival
A Brief History:

As said earlier, the celebratory customs could probably be traced back to the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC) and was a huge deal for royals and nobles as an autumnal equinox festival. While it did not have any definite cause for celebration back then, later the Sui and Tang dynasties began the custom of thanking the moon for their prosperity. It was during the Tang Dynasty that the date of August 15th of the Chinese lunar calendar was fixed as the day of celebration as it was the closest full moon day to autumnal equinox. In the Northern Song Dynasty, it had become a widely celebrated festival both for common masses and for the nobility.

A Tinge of Love:

For all you lovebirds out there and maybe the hopeless romantic ones too, this celebration also has a romantic twist. It is said that the festival commemorates the undying love of Chang E. She, in order to protect her dear husband’s elixir from falling into the wrong hands, ate it herself and then flew off to the moon.

Moon Cakes and More:

New Year, the biggest festival of the Chinese people, might be about watching those dazzling fireworks with wonder filled eyes, but Mid-Autumn Festival (the second biggest one) is about coming back to one’s roots and being thankful about all that is good in life.

It is a time of showing one’s family how much their love and family are appreciated. Family members and friends spend quality time over dinner, take in the beauty of the full moon and chomp on a delicious treat called the moon cake. Round in shape, the moon cake is said to be the symbol of a unified family. Interestingly, this traditional delight is now packaged in beautiful boxes which are often more expensive than the cakes themselves. These are served with tea and shared with families as a part of the festival.

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