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Mid-Autumn Festival in China: Origins and traditions

One of the most important spiritual days in China, Mid-Autumn dates back thousands of years. It is second in cultural importance only to the Lunar New Year. It traditionally falls on the 15th day of the Chinese lunisolar calendar’s 8th month, a night when the moon is at its fullest and brightest, just in time for the autumn harvest season.

Mid-Autumn Festival in China is a public holiday (or at least the day after Chinese Mid-Autumn). This year, it falls on the 29 September so expect plenty of gift-giving, lantern lighting (and the appearance of noisy plastic ones), glowsticks, family dinners and, of course, mooncakes.

The most important part of the festival is gathering with your loved ones, giving thanks and praying. In ancient times, traditional worship of the moon would include praying to moon deities (including Chang’e) for health and wealth, making and eating mooncakes, and lighting colourful lanterns at night. Some people would even write good wishes on the lanterns and fly them into the sky or float them on rivers.

Make the best of the night by:

Having a traditional Chinese dinner with family — popular autumnal dishes include Peking duck and hairy crab.
Eating mooncakes — we’ve rounded up the best ones in town.
Attending one of the stunning lantern lighting displays around the city.
Moongazing! We’re particularly fond of the beach but you can also do a (short!) night trek up a mountain or hill, or find a rooftop or park to take in the views.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!


Post time: Sep-28-2023
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