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Chinese Moon Festival - Festival With Many Names

Updated on September 5, 2011

Changes of the moon influence one's life

On the the 15th day of the 8th Chinese lunar month (corresponding to 12 September, 2011), the moon's orbit is at its lowest angle to the horizon in the eastern skies, making the moon appears brighter and larger than at any other time. It is generally known as the Moon Festival and is celebrated among Chinese communities throughout the world.

The Moon In All It's Splendour!

Moon Festival, Harvest Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Reunion Festival, Mooncake Festival and Lantern Festival

In Chinese myths and legends, there are lots of stories about the moon. The origin of the Moon Festival is derived from the tradition of worshiping the Goddess of Moon, Chang'e.

During this time of the year all the summer harvests have been gathered. The weather is dry and cool and the full moon looms brightest in the sky - a perfect time to celebrate after all the hard work in the fields. The festivities were referred to as the Harvest Festival which is similar to the western Thanksgiving festival.

As it is held in the middle of autumn (which usually begins in the seventh lunar month and ends in the ninth), it is also popularly known as the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Besides, Mid-Autumn Festival or Harvest Festival, this special Moon Festival is also called Reunion Festival for it's a time of gathering and reunion for family members and friends. Because the full moon is round, it symbolizes “perfection,” “harmony,” “togetherness”, and "reunion”. Family members try to get together on this special day to remember those who are far away from home. Those unable to get home to join the get-together would miss their family even more on this festival..

When the moon is full and shining its brightest, the older folks still perform the usual rituals of burning joss-sticks, red candles and golden joss-paper. Offerings of moon cakes, pomelos, water caltrops, taro, water melon seeds and Chinese tea are laid on the praying altar to the deities and ancestors.

The youngsters take the opportunity to party throughout the night. The merry-making usually begins with happy children carrying colorful lanterns around the neighborhood tagging the occasion as the Lantern Festival.

Mooncakes Galore At The Supermarket

Fillings in contemporary style mooncakes has diversified and include popular ingredients from chocolate, to nuts, to fruits and even ham
Fillings in contemporary style mooncakes has diversified and include popular ingredients from chocolate, to nuts, to fruits and even ham

Delicious Mooncakes Of Different Shapes & Sizes

Eating Delicious Mooncakes and Playing Colorful Lanterns!

However, the most important ingredient to the festivities is everyone come together to enjoy mooncakes, Chinese tea and appreciate the moon at its fullest. Thus, is is also called the Mooncake Festival.

The mooncake is often given as a gift between family and friends during the festival to show greetings. The round mooncake is a carrier of good wishes between family members, the eagerness to join family reunion of those away from home and people's praying for happiness.

Besides the traditional mooncakes, the very modern mooncakes come in various shapes and sizes, made from various ingredients, and have different kinds of flavours and fillings. Pomeloes, water caltrops, taro, and water melon seeds are some of the other food popularly associated with this happy occasion. All these interesting customs are an indication of people's love of life and good wishes for a better future.

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Day for the coming years are: September 14, 2008; October 3, 2009; September 22, 2010; September 12, 2011; September 30, 2012 (Note: It will be a day earlier in the US).

Mooncake - Pandan and Lotus With Single York Flavor

A delicious mooncake with pandan lotus seed filling and a single salted duck egg yolk. Nutritional values per 100g cake: calories - 408 k cal; fat - 15.2g; carbohydrate - 59.1g; and protein - 7.3g
A delicious mooncake with pandan lotus seed filling and a single salted duck egg yolk. Nutritional values per 100g cake: calories - 408 k cal; fat - 15.2g; carbohydrate - 59.1g; and protein - 7.3g

Colorful Lanterns Lit The Night Sky

Hundreds of bright red lanterns lit the night sky
Hundreds of bright red lanterns lit the night sky

Modern Lantern

A modern musical and moving lights lantern in the shape of Ultraman...
A modern musical and moving lights lantern in the shape of Ultraman...

Comments

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  • profile image

    Sarah 

    6 years ago

    Any more information or 1st hand accounts of the traditions of the Moon Festival?

    Thanks

  • ellahall2011 profile image

    ellahall2011 

    7 years ago

    Great to know about Chinese traditions.Thanks.

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