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Home >> Life style >> Mid Autumn Festival

Mid Autumn Festival

 

There are many festivals in the Chinese Lunar calendar and one of my favourites is the Mid-Autumn festival also known as the Moon Festival.

It is a wonderful family festival for everyone young and old. Its colour and beautiful lanterns make it subtle and dramatic and a must see occasion.

Earliest records date it back to the Tang dynasty but the various explanations for its origin are confusing, suffice to say that it is a super festival which is still enjoyed by Chinese families wherever they are in the world.

It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese year. It always occurs on a full moon.

 

In Chinese culture round objects symbolise union and continuity and of course the Moon is biggest and best. To mark this continuity Chinese families gather together to go and see the moon. If they are separated by distance they go out and see the moon keeping the link with their family who will be watching at the same time. The families gather at a high spot or an open park where the moon will be easily visible. In addition they are celebrating the harvest during the biggest and brightest moon of the year.

One of the most famous foods linked to the moon festival are Moon cakes. They are about 3 inches in diameter and an inch and a half thick. Some describe them as similar to a Western fruitcake. These cakes are made with melon seeds, lotus seeds, almonds, minced meats, bean paste, orange peel and lard. The yolk of a salted duck egg is placed in the middle of each cake, and the golden brown crust is decorated with symbols of the festival.

 

 

For children the Moon festival is a wonderful time. There is great anticipation as they decide which lantern they are going to buy.

 

 

The shopping trip heightens the fun.

 

 

The traditional shapes are still popular but in this modern world new characters are prevalent such as aeroplanes and spaceships, Power Rangers, Pokemon and even Bart Simpson.

 

 

The children are allowe  to stay up late to watch the moon and so the excitemet reaches fever pitch. They eat moon cakes while they watch it. They carry their lanterns in the dark and their glow reveals the wonder on their faces. It is truly enchanting. The parks and hills are ablaze with the light of thousands of lanterns and the enchantng wonderment is repeated over and over again.