The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Zhongqiu Jie in Chinese, is one of the most significant and beloved holidays in East Asia.
This traditional festival is celebrated in various countries, primarily China, Vietnam, Korea, and Taiwan, on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, this year falling on the 29th of September. The streets come alive with lantern processions, delicious foods, songs and dancing. Many people travel long distances to be with their loved ones. It’s a time for bonding, sharing stories, and expressing gratitude for familial ties.
How to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival
Mooncakes: Mooncakes are the quintessential treat of the Mid-Autumn Festival! These round, filled pastries are often intricately designed with beautiful imprints. Mooncakes come in various flavors, including lotus seed paste, red bean paste, and even modern variations like chocolate and ice cream. Exchanging mooncakes is a symbol of unity and togetherness.
Lanterns: Brightly colored lanterns are an iconic element of Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations. People of all ages carry lanterns, many of which are shaped like animals, flowers, or characters from mythology. Lighting lanterns and watching them float into the night sky is a magical experience.
Moon-watching: One of the most cherished traditions is moon-watching. Families and friends gather outdoors, often in gardens or parks, to admire the full moon. Folklore and legends surrounding the moon’s significance are shared, adding depth to the experience.
Dragon and Lion Dances: In some regions, dragon and lion dances are performed to entertain the crowds. These traditional dances feature colorful, elaborate costumes and are believed to bring good luck and fortune.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is not just a time for mooncakes and lanterns!
It is a celebration of rich folklore, legends, and traditions that have been passed down through generations. One of the most famous legends associated with the festival revolves around Chang’e, the Moon Goddess. According to Chinese mythology, Chang’e consumed an elixir of immortality and ascended to the moon, where she resides with a jade rabbit. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, people look up at the moon, believing that they can catch a glimpse of Chang’e and the jade rabbit.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival from the Alpes d’Or Team