The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, takes place every year on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month in the Chinese calendar. The festival celebrates the end of harvest and the beginning of autumn. It takes place under the moon, which on this day is at its brightest and roundest.
This year the festival takes place on October 4. Families get together to celebrate under lanterns and sometimes even with lion dances. Food plays a big role – in particular, the moon cake (月饼 or yuè bĭng). This sweet pastry, shaped like the full moon, is filled with lotus seed or red bean paste.
The intricate designs on moon cakes can vary. For example, they may include Chinese characters that mean “happiness” or “longevity.” Or they could feature a rabbit (like my mom’s moon cake mold) to represent the folklore of the rabbit living on the moon who is the companion of the moon goddess Chang’e. Sometimes the moon cake may just feature a simple floral or geometric design.
To learn more about the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival, check out these articles from my blog and others which feature personal stories, recipes, history, and more.
Mid-Autumn Festival Fall Traditions with Moon Cake Recipe by Maria Adcock of Bicultural Mama
Happy Chinese Moon Festival! Savoring Mom’s Moon Cakes by Maria Adcock of Bicultural Mama
9 Children’s Books About the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Svenja Gernand of Colours of Us
The Mid-Autumn Festival, The Moon Fairy, and Moon Cakes by Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett of Miss Panda Chinese as seen on KidWorldCitizen.org