I know you are thinking that it is too early for the middle of fall but in China seasons are tracked by energetic shifts of Yin & Yang. Since in August we talked about the major shift towards cooler temperatures, it marked the decline of Yang energy while Yin energy was slowly rising. Now it is time for Yin within Yang. September 22nd 2023 marked Fall Equinox, meaning that on this day we had an equal amount of daylight and darkness. In China, many natural phenomena are observed in relation to the lunar calendar instead, which leads to the celebration of the time of the Full Moon in fall, which in turn explains the special nickname for the holiday "Moon Festival". Moon festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. This year it falls on September 29th. The moon symbolizes unity and it is time to gather at the round table with the family after a busy harvest season and express gratitude.
How to celebrate Moon Festival?
1. Family gathering under the moonlight
A good place to start is to get together for a late family dinner. Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is their version of Thanksgiving. It is time for appreciation and gratitude as well as spending quality time with loved ones.
2. Eating Mooncakes
Mooncake is a signature pastry for this occasion. As a rule, mooncakes are round pastries filled with bean paste, lotus seeds, fruits, nuts, or eggs. The round shape represents the mood as well as the family unity. Each mooncake is usually cut into a number of pieces matching the number of people in the family.
3. Moon gazing
There is a famous legend about beautiful Chang’e who drank an elixir of immortality and flew to the moon, while her husband Hou Yi later became the God of the Sun. The couple is reunited once a month when the full moon burns brightly from the force of their love.
To this day people in China worship the moon and serve round fruits like watermelon, grapefruit, pomegranate, pear, persimmon, and grapes at a dinner table.
4. Making Lanterns
Making Lanterns is a fun family activity that is especially entertaining for children. You can also make burning ones, write your wishes on them and release them into the air.