This traditional festival, also known as the Moon or Mooncake Festival, is celebrated in many Asian countries and is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. Here is everything you need to know about this traditional festival and its meaning in China!
The Mid-Autumn Festival has a history of over 3000 years. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar with a full moon at night. This corresponds to the period between mid-September to early October of the Gregorian calendar. It is believed that the moon is largest and shines brightest on this day. At the same time, the harvest of autumn takes place during this period.
While the festival was first held in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it became more popular after the Song Dynasty (960-1279). During this period, the moon had special significance as people began to admire it and many poets began to write about it. During the Qing Dynasty (1368-1912), it became one of the most important festivals in China, right after Chinese New Year. In 2008, it became a public holiday in China.
While the original meaning of the festival is diminishing, it is still under the sign of the moon. Friends and family gather and usually eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. Another component of the festival are lanterns, which, although they have no deeper meaning for the Moon Festival, have become established.
The trademark of the festival are mooncakes (月饼). These are small round cakes. The typical mooncake has a diameter of about 10 centimeters and is about 5 centimeters high. Inside the pastry shell is usually a sweet or fatty filling made of sugar, fat and a paste. Often these are decorated with Chinese characters. If the moon cake contains egg yolks inside, this symbolizes the full moon.
Marketers have long been aware of the festival and each year design appropriate advertising campaigns and corresponding products in the spirit of the moon festival. Brands like Starbucks have released their own premium mooncakes and offer festival-related items. Chinese people generally give each other gifts for the festival, which is why sales volume is increasing.