Along with the Lunar New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in China. Based on the legend of Chang'e, the moon goddess, it’s a time to celebrate the harvest and get together with family and friends. It’s also a time for fun traditions and delicious food! Here are some ways you can make this an amazing holiday:
The mooncake (月饼/月餅 yuebing) is a traditional dessert eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival and can be found in many forms and flavors. A sweet, dense pastry with a red bean or lotus (or sometimes sesame) paste, the round cake have come to represent the full moon and is a symbol of family gatherings. Sometimes a whole salted egg yolk is added to the center of the cake to further represent the full moon. Some people like to buy them premade at bakeries; others like to make their own using recipes passed down through generations of family members. Mooncakes have come to be intertwined with the Mid-Autumn Festival itself. They're both consumed and gifted by the millions in the days and weeks preceding the Mid-Autumn Festival and often enjoyed with tea or osmanthus wine. (Read more about Mooncakes)
Make and View Lanterns
Like with many other Chinese festivals, lanterns are a fun and beautiful way to make your Mid-Autumn Festival special. Lantern making activities are always a hit with kids, and it's a great way to decorate your home as well! In many places, public areas such as parks will hang up lanterns, in which people are able to come and view the beautiful lantern displays. Some can also be floating on the water or fly up into the sky, lighting up the night.
Family Gatherings and Meals
One of the best parts of Chinese culture is the importance it places on family and friends. Your relationships with those close to you are a source of strength, comfort, and joy, and when celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival, there’s no better way to reflect on these precious relationships than by gathering around a table full of delicious food!
While it can be fun to try new dishes for this holiday—like mooncakes or tangyuan (sweet dumplings)—there’s nothing quite like savoring some of your favorite foods while surrounded by people who love you. It's a great time to reunite with loved ones that you haven't seen in a while.
Take in the full moon
In China, the moon is a symbol of togetherness and family. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, many families go out to outdoor locations like parks or places with good views like rooftops to view the moon and appreciate those around them. In the past, worshipping the moon was a common practice, but this tradition has started to gradually fade as the years pass.