What makes you think when looking up and seeing the full moon in the sky?
For Chinese people, on the 15th of August in the lunar calendar (falling on October 1st this year), the moon is at its roundest and brightest, symbolising togetherness and reunion. People celebrate under the full moon and call it the ”
Mid-Autumn Festival” or ” Mooncake Festival” 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié). People in mainland China enjoy one day off on this day which is usually connected with a weekend. For Chinese overseas, it is also an important festival to celebrate.
The story behind 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié)
There are different stories and legends behind the Mid-Autumn Festival, here we introduce you the most popular and romantic one. A YouTube video (2’42) from Chinahighlights.
Celebrate 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié)
To today’s Chinese, Mid-Autumn Festival is going far beyond just worshipping. It has become an opportunity for family members to get together and have a reunion meal, appreciating the full bright moon, eating moon cakes, and expressing strong yearnings toward family members and friends who live afar. People who don’t normally have time to stay with their parents will try their best to go home to at least have dinner with them.
Mooncake is made from wheat flour and sweet stuffing such as sugar and lotus seed powder, coming in with various flavours according to the region. The mooncakes are round, symbolising the reunion of a family, so it is easy to understand how the eating of the mooncakes under the full moon can evoke longing for relatives and friends who are far away.
Appreciating the Moon
For those who can have a reunion meal with their families, sitting together, talking about recent life anecdotes and admiring the moon, it is a great enjoyment and comfort; while for those being far away from their families, appreciating the moon can cause serious homesick. Many famous ancient poets wrote about the full moon and expressed their homesickness.
Sending Mid-Autumn Messages
In ancient China, when people missed their families or friends afar, they wrote letters that would take a long time to convey their longings. It is luck for modern Chinese who live with instant messaging apps that can send their wishes, or make audio/video calls to get connected with friends and relatives. To send festival wishes through an app is also a good way to break the ice if you don’t know how to start a conversation over the phone. Nowadays, young people like to send messages via instant messaging apps such as WeChat.
At last, we would like to share you the most famous song for Mid-Autumn, with which we pay a tribute to the moon and send the best wishes to you all. The lyrics of this song was a poem wrote by 宋代 sòng dài Song Dynasty (960-1279) poet 苏轼 sū shì, sung by 邓丽君 dèng lì jūn Teresa Teng, the most welcomed female singer in last century.