The Mid-Autumn Festival

Besides the Spring Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the biggest holidays in China. It’s a traditional holiday that annually falls on August 15th of the Lunar calendar which corresponds to September 24th of the Gregorian calendar. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Mooncake Festival as mooncakes are a delicacy enjoyed by family and friends during this time.

Traditional Customs Of The Mid Autumn Festival

There are two major customs during this holiday: praying to and admiring the moon. While it sounds odd, the moon is one of the biggest hallmarks of the holiday as it represents unity and reunion.

Traditionally, the Chinese associated rejuvenation with the moon and water. They connected this concept to the menstruation of women. For example, the Zhuang people, have an ancient fable of the sun and moon being a couple, the stars being their children. When the moon is pregnant, it becomes round and becomes crescent after giving birth.

These traditional beliefs made it popular among women to give offerings and pray to the moon on the evening of the Mid Autumn Festival. Additionally, they will take mooncakes and pray for family harmony as the delicacy also represents unity.

Will You Be Celebrating?

The holiday began during the Tang Dynasty and gained popularity throughout the Song Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, and the Qing Dynasty. Currently, the countries who celebrate this holiday are China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

In Korea, the Mid Autumn Festival is called “Chu-sok” and a time to eat rice cakes. In contrast, Japan celebrates by eating rice dumplings that are also called “tsukimi dango”.  While in Vietnam, eating lots of sweets is widely accepted on this day.

How does your country celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival? If not, what specific holidays does your country celebrate?