MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL: MOONCAKES & LANTERNS
What is the Mid-Autumn Festival?
The Mid-Autumn Festival (simplified Chinese: 中秋节; traditional Chinese: 中秋節) also known as Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, is a traditional festival celebrated by many East and Southeast Asian people.
The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar with a full moon at night, corresponding to mid-September to early October of the Gregorian calendar. On this day, the Chinese believe that the moon is at its brightest and fullest size, coinciding with harvest time in the middle of Autumn.
Lanterns of all sizes and shapes are carried and displayed – symbolic beacons that light people's path to prosperity and good fortune. Mooncakes, a rich pastry typically filled with sweet-bean, yolk , meat or lotus-seed paste, are traditionally eaten during this festival.
There are various myths and legends that surround the festival’s genesis. One dates back to the story of the wife of a merciless king, Chang E, who drained her husband’s elixir of immortality to save the people from his tyrannical rule before making her way to the moon. Others include Chinese emperors in the Zhou dynasty (1045-221 BC) obsessively worshipping the moon in the hopes of producing a bumper crop in the following year.
When the Mid-Autumn Festival rolls in Singapore, two things come alive: colourful lanterns and scrumptious mooncakes. Also known as the Moon Festival, this cultural affair in the Chinese calendar marks the end of the autumn harvest. It traditionally falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar when the moon is the fullest and brightest – or so lunar legends have it. This year, it falls on September 21.
Here are our top 7 things for the mid-autumn festival
Families usually gather to indulge in the sweet treats – either baked or steamed – best paired with hot tea. Most mooncakes are filled with salted egg yolk as the yolk is said to represent the full moon and their round shape symbolises reunion. Legend also has it that they were used to carry secret messages from the Han Chinese to overthrow the Mongolian rulers.
Send any kind of mooncakes to others with Mooncake Delivery Singapore
More recently sending mooncakes to family members, friends and business associates has become a tradition during the mid-autumn festival. Sending mooncakes as a gift is a great way to express gratitude and admiration for the receiver.
Businesses often send mooncakes to their associates as a symbol of their gratitude for the working relationship. Mooncakes make for a delicious and decadent gift.
Make lanterns with the children
Lanterns are another big part of the festival. Since light is a main theme during the festival, with the ceremonial lighting of candles and lanterns. Many families with children make colourful lanterns as an activity together.
Children make these lanterns in a variety of shapes like plants and animals and then hang them up around the home or in trees outside. Many public places also decorate with lanterns to celebrate the festival.
Choose your Lantern Carnival
The party doesn't start ‘till the moon walks in. Come night time, lanterns of all sizes and shapes are illuminated to complement the surroundings, hyping up the Mid-Autumn spirit and used for moon gazing. Get a taste of it at places like Chinatown and Gardens by the Bay where your nights are bound to be extra lit. The celebration is also amped up with lantern parades, dragon dances, and traditional Chinese performances.
Enjoy a family dinner
Family reunions are a big part of the mid-autumn festival and as such a family dinner shared together is often how families celebrate.
On the night of the mid-autumn festival families reunite and not only share a dinner but share news about their lives. While some families enjoy a home cooked meal together, many go out to eat at some of the best restaurants.
Engage in moon appreciation
The moon is the main focus of the mid-autumn festival. In Chinese culture, the moon symbolizes family reunion and is usually very symbolic for people far from home as it reminds them of home and their families.
Moon Gazing is a part of the festival as many families spend time gazing at the moon after dinner and appreciating its presence. The best place to view the moon is from a rooftop or atop a mountain.
Share gifts with the people in your life
Since the mid-autumn festival is also about thanksgiving, many people give gifts to their family, friends, staff and colleagues. It is a wonderful time to share with others and show them your gratitude for their presence in your life.
Some people will spend time with their loved ones when delivering a gift to bond.