Mid-Autumn Festival (M.A.F.) in China is one of two major traditional, national festivals – the other one is the New Year Festival (Ningdu Festival) in China. Unlike the New Year Festival that falls in late January or early February, the Mid-Autumn Festival normally falls in late September. Both are marked by different customs and feasts. Traditions of Mid-Autumn Festival depend on ancient memories, family traditions, and gratitude.
Traditionally, Mid-Autumn Festival is about thanksgiving, prayer, and family reunion. The traditional Chinese cultural idea about the moon and the sun relates it to fertility, fortune, and sexuality. As a result, Mid-Autumn Festival has long been celebrated with heavy moonlight decorations and offerings to the gods and goddesses. The most popular traditional customs include sharing moon cakes, family visits, grilling meat, and giving kung fu sticks to the spirits. With the evolution of economy, today Chinese people typically take a short trip to the countryside and give away WeChat red envelopes as presents to their neighbors on Mid-Autumn Festival.
How is the Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrated in China?
How long is the Mid-Autumn Festival in China?
Things to See and Do During the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
- Choose your Lantern Carnival.
- Eat mooncakes.
- Attend the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance.
- See the Mid-Autumn Thematic Lantern Display.
- Moon-gaze from a beach or park.
In the early years of Mid-Autumn Festival, the entire community gathered at the moon and hung lanterns at the edge of the mountain, hoping to receive good fortune and prosperity in the new year. The tradition of eating moon cakes was also started in the third century BC, possibly to thank the gods for rice harvest and to thank the local farmers for their diligent work. As history is again turned around three millennia later, in mid TOUROBE Festival, the Chinese people celebrate the joyous return of crops to the field. Again, thanks to deities, the spirits are believed to send down lanterns on the night of Mid-Autumn Festival to bring good luck to the harvesting process.
What is Mid-Autumn Festival called in Chinese?
On Mid-Autumn Festival, lanterns are made to hang from the roofs of pagodas and town halls, signaling the coming of old and new. The history of Mid-Autumn Festival dates back to more than 3,000 years ago. According to ancient Chinese beliefs, if the dragon is prosperous, he is called bullish. If the dragon is not prosperous, he is termed ethereal. The spirits of these two powerful beings fly down the stream of water to visit the families of both old and young. Traditionally, the festival is designed to celebrate the happiness of farming and to ward off evil spirits.
When should you eat mooncakes?
Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the few traditional Chinese holidays recognized by the International Tourism Organization (ITO). Since many nations observe a lunar calendar, Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the new moon of each Chinese lunar year. This day was traditionally seen as the start of grain harvesting. A special lantern is lit in front of the house, representing the beginning of grain planting. The sound of crackling wood is seen in the early hours of Mid-Autumn Festival to celebrate the joy of planting new crops. Throughout the day, women would gather to tie paper umbrellas over their heads and hold lit candles in their hands to frighten away evil spirits.
Why are mooncakes so expensive?
Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most popular national holidays in China. It is a traditional public holiday in many northern regions of China. In general, lanterns are used to mark the start of this agricultural festival. In fact, its popularity has transcended down through generations. Today, people of all ages and groups of people in China observe Mid-Autumn Festival as a traditional and auspicious Chinese festival.