Mid-Autumn Festival 2023: Celebration, History, Images & Symbols- The Mid-Autumn Event, sometimes referred to as Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, is an ancient Chinese festival. Similar holidays are observed in Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and other East and Southeast Asian nations.
It ranks right up there with Chinese New Year as one of the most significant holidays in Chinese culture. The Mid-Autumn Festival has a more than 3,000-year history. The festival occurs between mid-September and early October on the Gregorian calendar’s 15th day of the 8th month (which corresponds to the Chinese lunisolar calendar’s 15th day of the same month). The Chinese consider this day to be the Moon’s fullest and brightest, coinciding with the harvest season in the middle of Autumn.
Lanterns of various sizes and forms are used and displayed as metaphorical beacons illuminating people’s paths to wealth and good fortune. During this holiday, mooncakes, a delicious pastry often filled with sweet bean, egg yolk, pork, or lotus flower seed paste, are normally eaten. The Mid-Autumn Festival is centered on the Chinese mythology tale of Change, the Moon goddess.
The event honors three key ideals that are inextricably linked:
Gathering, such as gathering family and friends or collecting crops for the event. On this day, the Moon is supposed to be the brightest and roundest, indicating a family reunion. As a result, this is the primary reason why and how the festival is regarded as significant.
Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for the harvest or for happy relationships.
Praying (seeking spiritual or material fulfillment, such as for children, a spouse, elegance, longevity, or a bright future)
The festival’s traditions and mythology are built around these themes, albeit they have evolved over time owing to developments in technology, research, economy, society, and religion. It’s all about getting along.
Mid-Autumn Festival 2023: Moon Worship
Moon worship is an integral aspect of the festival celebration. The ancient Chinese equated rejuvenation with both the Moon and water and linked this notion to women’s menstruation, referring to it as “monthly water.” The Zhuang people, for instance, have an ancient legend in which the Sun and Moon are married as well as the stars are their kids, and that when the Moon is pregnant, it turns round, then crescent after having given birth to a kid. Because of these beliefs, it was common for women would worship and offer sacrifices to the Moon here in the evening. There are still rituals in some parts of China where “men do not adore the moon and women do not give offerings to the kitchen gods.”
Mid-Autumn Festival 2023:
Because it is the 15th day of the 18th month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Whenever the moon is at its fullest, the Mid-Autumn Festival in China symbolizes the family reunion. All families will take time to enjoy the moon on this day in the evening. The Mid-Autumn Festival is associated with the lovely myth of Change soaring to the Moon.
Offerings are also made to Change, the Moon Empress of Immortality, a well-known lunar deity. The myths connected to Change provide an explanation for the beginning of Moon worship on this day. One version of the tale is as follows: Lihui Yang’s Handbook of Chinese Mythology.
With food sacrifices performed in honor of the moon. The festival was a time to celebrate the successful harvest of rice and wheat. The Moon, a symbol of peace and unity, is still a reason. Outdoor gatherings of friends and family where mooncakes are served. Government offices, banks, and schools frequently close. Early during a solar eclipse year take advantage of the longer celestial celebration that an eclipse brings. The festival is observed with a variety of cultural and local traditions, including:
- Burning incense in honor of gods such as Change.
- Dragon and lion dance performances are primarily done in southern China.
Mooncake making and sharing are one of the festival’s iconic customs. A round shape denotes completion and reunion in Chinese culture. As a result, sharing and eating round mooncakes over the festival week represents the completion and oneness of families. Making mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival’s eve has become customary in various parts of China. The mooncakes were divided among the family members by the senior member of that household, symbolizing a family reunion.