Mid-Autumn Festival: China's 2nd Biggest Festival is Coming!

This year's Mid-Autumn Festival  falls on September 13th-15th, 2019.

The Mid-Autumn festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is the second most important festival celebrated in China after the Lunar New Year. It is a public holiday in which people come together as a family to celebrate. The festival is celebrated when the moon is full, which symbolises reunion, harmony and happiness. In the past, the Moon Festival was celebrated at harvest time. Ancient Chinese emperors worshiped the moon in autumn to thank it for the harvest. Today, people mainly celebrate the moon festival as a time for family reunions. This year, the mid-autumn festival will fall on the 13th September.

Celebration activities:

A reunion dinner

Particularly on the evening of Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese people get together with their family. They eat dinner together usually at the grandparentshome or at a restaurant. Food for the dinner includes duck, taro, and other regional festival foods.

Popular foods: Mooncakes, duck, pumpkin and taro.

Worshipping the moon
After dinner, the family traditionally offers sacrifices to the moon, in the belief that the moon will bring them good luck. The offerings may include mooncakes and symbolic fruits. If the weather permits it, the family will then go outside to appreciate the bright moon while eating mooncake. During a bright moon night, many families choose to go outside to a park, climb hills or walk by a lake to gaze at the moon. 

Making colourful lanterns is an activity enjoyed between families and children. The lanterns can be different shapes and can also resemble animals, plants or flowers. They also make Kong Ming lanterns, which can fly due to the burning candles that heat the air in the lantern. Children write good wishes on the lanterns and let them fly up into the sky.

Dragon/ Lion dances
Some regions hold dragon and lion dances, which attract many participants and spectators. Lions usually have two performers inside a costume, while dragons require many performers to manipulate their serpentine bodies.


Chinese mooncakes are especially important to this celebration, so much so that the festival is sometimes called 'Mooncake Festival'. Chinese mooncakes are round, baked, palm-size cakes eaten and gifted during the Chinese Moon Festival. They're a popular gift, often given in decorative boxes to clients, freinds, and family members. They are made of a wheat flour pastry with a sweet, dense filling. Fillings could include; nuts, red beans, lotus seeds, fruits and egg.

Fun fact: The largest mooncake ever created was in Shanghai in 2013 with a mooncake that weighed just under 2,500kg with a diameter of 2.5m making it heavier than a car and bigger than a king-size bed!

Tip: Make sure to book transport tickets early for travel during this celebration period. A lot of people travel during this period and a lot of transport is sold out ahead of time.

Enjoy the festivities!

Supervisor: Crystal Huang

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