The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is one of the most important traditional festivals in China. It takes place on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, which usually falls in September or early October. During this festival, Chinese people gather with their families and enjoy various traditional activities. Here are some traditions that you may not know about the Mid-Autumn Festival in China.
- Eating Mooncakes
Mooncakes are the must-have food during the Mid-Autumn Festival. These round-shaped cakes symbolize reunion and completeness, and they are often filled with lotus seed paste, red bean paste, or salted egg yolks. Nowadays, there are also many new flavors and varieties of mooncakes, such as ice cream mooncakes, chocolate mooncakes, and even durian mooncakes.
- Appreciating the Full Moon
The full moon is the centerpiece of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Chinese people believe that the full moon represents completeness and prosperity, and it is considered auspicious to appreciate the moon on this special day. People often gather in parks or other open areas to watch the full moon and admire its beauty.
- Carrying Lanterns
Carrying lanterns is another popular activity during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Lanterns come in various shapes and sizes, and they are often decorated with colorful paintings and calligraphy. Children love to carry lanterns and parade around the neighborhood, adding a festive atmosphere to the celebration.
- Drinking Tea
Drinking tea is an important part of Chinese culture, and it is also a tradition during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Chinese people believe that drinking tea can help digest the mooncakes and balance the body’s Yin and Yang. Tea drinking also provides an opportunity for families and friends to gather and chat.
- Playing Dice Games
Playing dice games is a popular pastime during the Mid-Autumn Festival. One of the most famous dice games is called “Bo Bing,” which involves rolling six dice and trying to get different combinations to win points. This game is often played by families and friends, and it adds a lot of fun and excitement to the celebration.
- Making Pomelo Lanterns
Pomelo is a type of fruit that is commonly eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. However, in some regions of China, people also use pomelos to make lanterns. They carve the pomelo skin into various shapes, such as animals or flowers, and put a candle inside to create a unique and fragrant lantern.
- Giving Gifts
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also a time for giving gifts to family and friends. The most common gifts are mooncakes, fruit baskets, and tea sets. Nowadays, there are also many creative and unique gifts, such as mooncake-shaped candles, moon-shaped necklaces, and even mooncake-flavored lip balms.
In conclusion, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family reunion, appreciation of nature, and traditional customs in China. With its rich history and diverse traditions, this festival continues to be an important part of Chinese culture and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy by Chinese people all over the world.