The mid autumn festival is also know as Moon festival, and lands on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. It is celebrated all throughout Asia. In China, it is the second most important festival after the Lunar New Year, or Spring festival. The celebration is called Chuseok (autumn eve) in Korea and Tsukimi (moon-viewing) in Japan. The Mid-Autumn festival is also an homage to the moon deity Chang'e, who is said to listen to romantic wishes and prayers.
Here are a few ways you can include this full-moon celebrating festival in your life!
1. Eat Mooncake (with moderation)
The round and filling cakes represent the fullest and brightest moon of the year.
Mooncakes come is savory or sweet versions, some filled with egg-yolk, some with lotus paste, others with nuts and honey. There's a mooncake for everyone.
Be mindful however, one of these cakes can contain up to 800 calories !
2. Drink Osmanthus wine
Osthmantus flowers are in full bloom during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The flower is native to China and has been cultivated for millennia for its taste and multiple health benefits.With its lush and delicate floral nuances, Osmanthus combines creamy apricot and peach undertones.
At the Mid-Autumn Festival night, people appreciate osmanthus under the moonlight, smelling it and drinking a cup of sweet osmanthus wine (or tea if you prefer!)
3. Gift melons to wish the receiver a baby
In Hengyang, Hunan Province, anyone who has been married and has not had a child yet, would receive melons sent by neighbors on the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is said if the wife eat the melons, she would become pregnant soon.
4. Light-up and hang paper lanterns
Lanterns of all size and shapes are lit up and displayed to symbolize guidance that lights our way to prosperity and good luck. The higher you hang your lanterns, the luckier your family will be.
5. Carve a lantern from a pomelo
Pomelos are a citrus fruit with very thick green skin, whose flesh tastes like grapefruit but with less juice in it.
Carefully slice the skin in a petal shape, without going all the way. to the bottom and remove the flesh. Once you're done eating it, carve some motif on the skin and place a tea-candle inside.
In some cities it is a tradition to let these pomelo candles float on a river, but be mindful of the pollution.
6. Contemplate the Moon and honor Chang'e
Chang'e (嫦娥) is the moon goddess, best known for stealing an elixir of immortality from her husband, Hou Yi. Her story is celebrated as part of the annual Mid-Autumn Festival. Before turning into the spirit of the moon, Chang’e was a renowned woman throughout China for her beauty. She was praised for her pale, milky skin, her hair as black as the night, and her lips like cherry blossoms.
During the Mid-Autumn Festival, people will commonly put fruits and sweets on altars for Chang’e to bless. Mooncakes are often decorated with motifs of Chang’e and her pet rabbit.