What Is Mid-Autumn Festival About And How Do You Celebrate It?


Syahirah Mazlan •  Sep 06, 2022

With the Mid-Autumn Festival approaching, there’s so much buzz online and in retail stores about mooncakes. Suddenly, your local bakery has trays and trays of mooncake stacked up tall! You may even find yourself craving mooncake at around this time of year (perhaps because you see it everywhere ?)! If you’ve ever wondered what the Mid-Autumn Festival is about and how to celebrate it, we break down the key things you need to know.

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What is Mid-Autumn Festival?

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Mooncake Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival, as it is known in Singapore, is celebrated by Chinese communities worldwide. ? According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, it occurs on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, when the moon is at its fullest. During the festival, families enjoy mooncakes, pomelos, tea, and lantern-making, while children play with lanterns!

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The origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival has been taught to be a part of an ancient practice of worshipping the moon and is considered a festival to show gratitude for a year of successful harvests at the end of the Autumn season. ?There are also many myths surrounding the origin of the Festival. One folklore even suggests that the festival is linked to the war between the Han Chinese resistance army and the Yuan Dynasty in the mid-14th century. It suggested that the rebellion used mooncakes to hide messages that called for an uprising on the night of mid-autumn and that was how the festival came to be! 

How do you celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival?

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The Mid-Autumn Festival is about lunar appreciation, so celebrations go into full swing once the sun goes down! ✨ In countries where there are larger Chinese communities, the Festival may often be celebrated extravagantly with lantern events and ceremonies. A moon-viewing party is a popular way to commemorate the occasion, with family and friends sipping tea, snacking on mooncakes, and even writing poetry in the tradition of the Tang Dynasty. ?

If you visit areas like Chinatown, you’ll be surrounded by lanterns lighting up the streets! ?Both small and big lanterns will be on display. They can be made to be shaped into anything from cartoon characters to cars and much more! You can marvel at the traditional craftsmanship. And if you’re worried about fire hazards, nowadays, battery powered lanterns are popular among children - it’s safe and still fun! 

However, the Festival can also be celebrated in smaller family and friend gatherings. ?You order mooncakes and sit around a table and chit-chat as you catch up and bond with your friends and family. 

Why mooncakes and tea?

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Mid-Autumn Festival is not complete without mooncakes. But have you ever wondered what the significance of the mooncakes are? ?These seasonal pastries are said to have helped Yuan China (a successor state to the Mongol Empire after its division) free itself from Mongol rule after rebels sent messages hidden in them. 

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There are many varieties of snowskin pastries available today, from traditional ones with lotus seed paste and egg yolk to chocolate and champagne truffle varieties. While they can be a little on the sweeter side, you should enjoy them with a strong cup of Chinese tea to cleanse your palate! ?

P.S. Looking for mooncakes in time for the Mid-Autumn Festival? Check out these 10 places to get halal mooncake in Singapore (that delivers!).

Reasons to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival

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The reason many people celebrate this Festival is because it promotes strong family bonding. ?? These days, it may seem as if Mid-Autumn Festival is primarily a celebration for couples, but its more about family reunions than romantic celebrations. In the tradition of full moon festivals, families gather for a scrumptious dinner together and, as the moon rises, hold lanterns, candles, and festive fruit as they gaze and admire the full moon! ?

Mid-Autumn Festival is all about family and spending quality time together. So if there’s any time of year to slow down and enjoy some seasonal sweet treats with your family and loved ones, this is the perfect opportunity to do so! ❤️

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Did you learn anything new about the Mid-Autumn Festival? If you have, SHARE this article with your friends and loved ones. ? Perhaps you can also spend this Festival with the people you care about and appreciate the delicious mooncakes in season because you’ll have to wait an entire year to get a taste of them if you miss it now!