The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in China. Unsurprisingly, it is also widely celebrated throughout Asia, although not necessarily in the same ways. Here is a look at how to celebrate, where to go for the best experience, and of course, what you should look forward to eating the most!
Fast Facts about the Festival
This year, the festival (Zhong Qiu Jie or jong-chyoh-jyeah) occurs today, on September 13th. Over 3,000 years ago, the Ancient Chinese people started to worship the moon, and that’s how this festival first began. During this time, you must treat yourself to mooncakes. Feel free to travel and appreciate the moon for its beauty and what it does for the Earth. Oh, and don’t forget to greet everyone you know with a “Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!”
Now let’s turn our attention to some of the customs surrounding typical celebrations. The extended family will get together and share a banquet. Gifts are given to the moon, everyone eats mooncakes, and lanterns are lit. In many ways, it resembles the American traditions around our Thanksgiving holiday. If you happen to visit Hong Kong during this holiday, then you owe it to yourself to watch a dragon show in the Tai Hang neighborhood.
All Around Asia
Due to immigration, many ethnic Chinese people do not live within China’s borders. They’ve spread out all over the world, in the Western Hemisphere, in Europe, and in East Asia, too. Because of this, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines all have their take on the Mid-Autumn Festival. These celebrations are much more conventional and include lantern lighting and dragon dances. But there are many differences in Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam.
The Festival’s Origins
You might wonder why this festival became such an important holiday in the first place. Let’s have a look at some of its history. During the harvest, the emperors of Ancient China would give their thanks to the moon. After all, the moon was considered the reason for such bountiful harvests. Everyone else followed their lead and used the occasion to celebrate all of their hard work throughout the year. In the present day, it is thought of as a time for family reunions.
Cities and Eats
If you’ve got wanderlust and a travel blog focused on food, then the Mid-Autumn Festival is a goldmine for more material. Visit the following cities for the best experiences: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou.
Besides mooncakes, you should also treat yourself to other traditional foods such as crabs, pumpkins, tomatoes, grapes, and pomelos. They’re all supposed to bring good luck, especially when they are fresh. Plus, they are all packed with nutrients, which will go a long way in helping you feel better!
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