The Mid-Autumn Festival
Off work from Sep. 19 to Sep. 22
What's Mid-Autumn Festival?
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese people. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, during a full moon, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox.
The festival consists of three fundamental meanings which are closely tied to one another:
l gathering, such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting crops
l thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions
l praying (asking for conceptual or material satisfaction), such as for babies, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future
Traditions and myths surrounding the festival are formed around these three meanings, although traditions have changed over time due to changes in technology, science, economy, culture, and religion.
Making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. In Chinese culture, a round shape symbolizes completeness and unity. Thus, the sharing of round mooncakes among family members signify the completeness and unity of families. In some areas of China, there is a tradition of making mooncakes during the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The senior person in that household would cut the mooncakes into pieces and distribute them to each family member, signifying family reunion. In contemporary times, however, making mooncakes at home has given way to the more popular custom of giving mooncakes to family members, although the meaning of maintaining familial unity remains.
Sep. 10, 2013