TOn the 15th day in the eighth lunar lunatory month, the Mid-Autumn Festival takes place across East Asia. It is celebrated by many millions. The festival date is subject to change every year according to the Gregorian Calendar, however it always falls around the harvest moon. The Mid-Autumn Festival is this year on September 10.
Certain activities, like moon gazing and displaying lanterns, are popular across several Asian countries—as is the symbol of a rabbit on the moon. However, there are also many other local traditions.
Here’s a look at how the festival is celebrated:
Lee Tung Street, Hong Kong is home to illuminated lanterns in preparation for the Mid-Autumn Festival which takes place on September 6th 2022.
Li Zhihua/China News Service via Getty Images
The legend of Chang’e and her ascent to the moon has long been associated with the Mid-Autumn festivities in China.
Legend has it that the Earth once had 10 suns. These suns scorched the earth. Hou Yi, a famous archer, pulled his bow to shoot nine suns down. This saved humanity. For his heroic act, the gods gave him the pill of immortality, which he handed to his wife Chang’e for safekeeping. However, one of his followers, Peng Meng, tried to steal the pill while Hou Yi was out hunting—so Chang’e swallowed it to prevent it from falling into Peng Meng’s hands. After becoming immortal, she floated to the Moon where she has resided ever since. Apart from Chang’e, the moon also has another resident: the Jade Rabbit.
Mid-Autumn, in Chinese traditions, is associated with family reunion. Moon cakes are stuffed with many fillings. They can be filled with anything from traditional lotus paste and salted egg yolk to modern versions with fruit and custard.
Staff member sets up moon cakes at the supermarket in preparation for Mid-Autumn Festival, Sept. 5, 2022 Handan province, China.
VCG/VCG via Getty Images
Other foods eaten during the festival include taro (because its name in many Chinese dialects is a homonym for “good fortune comes”) and hairy crab, a seasonal delicacy.
The lanterns are an integral part of the celebrations. Nowadays, lanterns made of paper and lit with candles are rare. The battery-powered version is what most children have. Single-use glow sticks are also common—leading to appeals from environmentalists for curbs on their use.
Some areas have Moon Festival traditions. In eastern China’s Zhejiang province, the Qiantang River’s tidal bore attracts many visitors. In Hunan province, women from the Dong ethnic group customarily steal vegetables—because according to legend the moon goddess will shower “sweet dew” on them and whoever consumes them will be healthy and happy.
South Koreans are proud to celebrate ChuseokAlso known as hangawiThis is the time. It’s one of the country’s biggest and most important holidays, alongside SeollalOr, the lunar new year.
People return to their home towns to hold family reunions or memorial services. CharyeFor their ancestors. South Korea also has public holidays on the days before and after, giving people more time to return home. In this year’s CHuseeokIt is observed between Sept. 9 and 12.
South Koreans travelling for the Chuseok holiday were seen at Incheon International Airport (Incheon), South Korea on Sept. 8, 2022.
SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Koreans love to eat at festive events. SongpyeonA half-moon-shaped ricecake filled with semi-sweet stuffing and seasonal fruits such as chestnuts and persimmons. A host of entertainment is also available to them, such as the ganggangsullae, a traditional circle dance. And, of course, at night, many people go out to view the full moon, where they watch out for the moon bunny. daltokki. It is believed to have been busy baking rice cakes on the lunar surface.
Japanese people celebrate Tsukimi, which translates to “looking at the moon.” Like the Koreans, they try to spot the moon rabbit, called tsuki no usagiIn Japanese, the rice cake maker is the animal. mochi.
The festivities are said to date back to Japan’s Nara period (710-794). Following Heian era (794-1185), Tsukimi Aristocrats loved this drink. Moon watching parties often took place on boats. These events included alcohol, music listening, and the creation of poetry. This tradition was popularized during the Edo period (1603-1868).
A dancer from Osaka performs in the Sumiyoshi (a Mid-Autumn Festival) file photo on September 19, 2013.
Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images
Traditionally, tsukimiThe celebration is marked with the decoration of your home in pampas, which symbolizes a plentiful harvest. These festive snacks are tsukimi-dangoA round rice dumpling that symbolizes health and happiness. The oval-shaped whiteness of eggs is thought to suggest the full moon and egg consumption is also encouraged. Fast food chains are also getting in on this trend by adding eggs to their burgers.
Vietnam’s Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as Tet Trung ThuIt is also called Tet Thieu NHi, or Children’s Festival.
The festival has a popular story about a Woodsman, Chu Cuoi. He flies away from his home with a magic banyan tree. Cuoi can be seen under the tree at the full moon’s face. The festival is celebrated during the following:, children holding lanterns—said to help guide Cuoi on his return to earth—spill into the streets and watch lion dances.
On Sept. 26, 2020, Hanoi, Vietnam saw many people pose with the Monkey King costume from Chinese mythology. Mid-Autumn Festival, a family event and night out for children, is a great opportunity to have fun with your loved ones.
Linh Pham/Getty Images
Families recognize Tet Trung ThuBy placing fruit trays and cakes in front of ancestral altars, you can symbolize filial piety. Two types of moon cake are available in Vietnam. banh noong And banh deo (soft-crusted).
Three quarters of Singaporeans descend from China, and many Mid-Autumn Festival traditions and customs are observed in Singapore.
Chinatown used to be the focal point of Chinese celebrations. Star- and goldfish-shaped lanterns were hung from Smith Street and Temple Street shops. Moon cakes were offered by traditional bakeries.
The Mid-Autumn Festival Decorations at Singapore’s Chinatown are shown in this Sept. 7, 20,22 photo.
Chih Wey/Xinhua, via Getty Images
Singaporeans now celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by lighting up lanterns at various venues throughout the city-state, such as Gardens by the Bay. Chinatown’s celebrations go on an even grander scale. This area becomes a bustling bazaar with stalls selling festive foods and ornaments. Live performances and lantern-painting competitions are available.
Moongazing remains a major part of the festival. The beach is popular for this activity.
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