The Autumn Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival, is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar. This year, it will fall on September 30th. With the moon at its fullest and brightest, it is an ideal time to celebrate the abundance of the summer's harvest.
Gladney familes brought handmade lanterns to the September 2010 NYC harbor cruise with delegates from the CCCWA.
The Festival is one of the most important holidays in China and other Asian countries. It is a time for farmers to celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season and for family and friends to gather for reunions. When the full moon rises, they watch the moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems. Brightly lit animal and fruit lanterns are often paraded around by children.
According to a folk tale, mooncakes are eaten during the Festival in commemoration of the successful overthrow of Mongol rulers in the 14th century. Group gatherings had been banned, so, the Chinese inserted messages in mooncakes of their plans to attack the Mongols on the night of the Autumn Moon Festival.
Fun celebration ideas for children include: reading stories related to the Mid-Autumn Festival about Chang'e, the Goddess of the Moon and the Jade Rabbit, making paper lanterns (click here for instructions), and eating mooncakes.
For the October Asia Program Newsletter, we would like to feature stories and/or photos from our families celebrating the Autumn Moon festival. Please send contributions to Lydia at firstname.lastname@example.org.