Insight & Analysis

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Published: Sep 2019
Chinese moon cakes with water in the background

After the Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival as it can be known, is the second-most important celebration in China. With this year’s festival just around the corner, here’s a few interesting facts about the event.

The origins of the Mid-Autumn Festival can be traced back over 3,000 years. It takes its name from the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season, when most harvests have been completed.

It’s a joyous evening celebration where families get together to give thanks, release colourful lanterns, recite poems and eat special mooncakes – all under the light of the rising full moon.

Mooncakes are a real delicacy, made of a thin layer of pastry wrapped around a dense filling. The most traditional cakes will use a lotus bean paste and a boiled egg yolk as a representation of the full moon.

Mooncakes are round, which symbolises the reunion of a family, so it is easy to understand how the eating of mooncakes under a full moon can evoke longing for distant relatives and friends. Nowadays, people present mooncakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life.

Although the festival is a time when families congregate, it is also considered a romantic occasion for couples. When circumstances prevent couples from getting together during the event, they pass the night by watching the moon at the same time so it seems as if they are together for the night. A great number of romantic poems have been written for this very reason.

This year’s Festival takes place tomorrow (13th September), and we at Treasury Today hope you have (or had) a very happy one!

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