With the end of summer approaching, most look forward to Labor Day as the next holiday stepping into the Fall season. Few know about another holiday, known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival originated thousands of years ago in China, but is now widely celebrated by many other ethnicities such as Vietnamese, Malaysians, and Filipinos among others.
Celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar calendar, it is believed to signify the autumnal equinox when the moon is at its fullest and roundest. There are a variety of Chinese and Vietnamese legends describing why we celebrate the moon at its fullest; most saying that it is a day to celebrate and honor a moon goddess. Families and friends celebrate this holiday by coming together to admire the moon, and eating traditional mooncakes and pomelos.
Over time, the Mid-Autumn Festival has developed into a larger occasion celebrating not only the moon, but lanterns as well, making the Mid-Autumn Festival sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival. Traditionally, children will light lanterns in a processional to show the deities their way to earth. Additionally, lion dances are performed for luck and fortune.
Although a lesser known Lunar holiday than Lunar New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival is just as important in many Asian cultures. The festival symbolizes the turn of summer, and hope that the new harvest will be plentiful.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival from all of us at EPMG!