Ah, the Mid-Autumn Festival! Or, as it’s sometimes called in Singapore, the Lantern Festival! (Not to be confused with the Lantern Festival at the end of Chinese New Year.) Many cultures celebrate the harvest, as it’s the time of year when all the hard work of planting and sowing, watering and feeding, protecting and watching over the year’s crops is finally rewarded! Food is in abundance! America and Canada don’t celebrate their harvest festivals (known as Thanksgiving) until later in the year, but many cultures—including the Chinese—celebrate their harvest festival around the fall equinox.
Because the Chinese base their holidays and traditions on the Han Calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节, pronounced “Zhōngqiū jié”) kicks off on the 15th day of the 8th month, which is the night of the full moon (always within 15 days of equinox). This year it kicked off on September 8th, a day Junwen and I made sure to enjoy mooncakes!
What are mooncakes? [Read more…]