The Mid-Autumn Festival is a festival celebrated mostly by Chinese and Vietnamese. It is a marvellous festival that lights up whole neighbourhoods and cities!
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival that has a long tradition in the Chinese and Vietnamese areas. The moon is also central to the festival as the ancient Chinese believed in moon whorshipping and the rejuvenating effect of the moon.
Mooncakes and lanterns are a huge part of the festival. As are the nightly stage shows, the dragon dance performances, the cultural songs. The festival is held in the late September.
Mooncakes are traditional cakes are made with a yellow duck egg inside, representing the moon. Nowadays, there are all kinds of modern takes on the mooncake, including chocolate, mango, green tea or even ‘snowy’ ice-cream ones.
Lanterns are lit to accentuate the brightness of the moon and on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival itself, paper ones are lit and floated off to the moon. You can get them in practically any shape, size or colour you desire.
One of the many versions of the legend goes like this: A long long time ago, there used to be ten suns in the sky, which burnt away terribly at the Earth. The emperor commanded the most skilled archer in all the land, Hou Yi, to shoot down all but one of the suns – which he did, leaving us with the one sun we have today. As a reward, he was given a magic potion that would grant him eternal life and he hid it away at home. Hou Yi became a tyrant, corrupted by power and ambition; on seeing this, his beautiful wife, Seung Orr, decided to eat the pill herself to prevent him from living forever. Upon eating the pill, she found herself becoming lighter and lighter and she began to float. Eventually, she floated out of the window, up into the sky and onto the moon where she lives today.