Chinese Moon Festival

Among the most lively and colorful mass-scale celebrations in the world, Chinese festivals rank top. Chinese celebrate a myriad of festivals every month and the most significant is the Chinese Moon Festival.

This is also popularly known as the Mid-Autumn or Zhongqui Festival. It is in fact the most awaited and loved celebration for the Chinese. Apart from the Chinese, this festival is also equally celebrated by the Vietnamese, Koreans and Japanese. The festival even has its pilgrimage in Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines.

Legend of the Moon Festival

The legend of the Chinese Moon Festival dates back to 2170 BC, when Lady Chang Er’s husband, Hou Yi shot down nine suns that were threatening the Earth. As a reward, the Yellow Emperor gave him the elixir of life. But, later on he became a tyrant and Lady Change Er drank the elixir of life (in the form of a pill), floated up to the moon and coughed up the pill that became the Jade/White Rabbit. Hou Yi became the sun god and was allowed to visit his wife once in each month, on the full moon night. Legend says that so on this day, the moon shines the brightest because of their love.

Traditions and Fun during the Festival

During the festival, the traditional food eaten includes – Pomelo (Chinese grapefruit- believed to scare off evil), Taro, and Snails. The dishes served should be according to the lucky yang numbers, 5, 7 or 9. Moon cakes, which symbolize good health and longevity, are also prepared. The cakes bear the imprints of the Jade Rabbit, Moon Goddess, toad or a grove. The centers of the cakes are filled with lotus seed paste, red bean paste, coconut, dried fruit, pineapple or sometimes an egg. Earlier, in the 14th century the cakes also contained messages for secret communication.

Celebrating the Moon Festival

Moon Festival is celebrated in the US and Canada with much joy and vigor. The Chinese bakeries sell moon cakes and business organizations also give them as gifts. The streets are decorated with sky lanterns, paper lanterns, and lights. People dance posing as fire dragons. The families dine together and appreciate the mesmerizing beauty of the full moon. The festival is exciting for the children as they find it a rare event for having permission to stay up way past bedtime. They float lanterns on the water. This is also time for them to make new friends.

 You can also be a part of this Chinese Moon Festival by visiting the country in the month of September. There are a lot of places of accommodation that offer a wide range of facilities and amenities.