to check out the recipe for mooncakes!
Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Harvest
Festival--these are different names for the same celebration
that takes place in China, Korea, Vietnam, and other
countries. Originally arising out of the rice-growing
cycle, this autumn festival was once a day of thanksgiving
for the rice harvest. Following the lunar calendar,
it takes place on the fifteenth day of the eighth month
when the moon is at its fullest and brightest. In 2013,
Mid-Autumn falls on September 19. On the evening of
the Moon Festival, family and friends gather in parks,
gardens and homes to enjoy the moonlight. Often, people
climb hills and mountains to get the best view of the
important part of the Moon Festival is the food. The
moon's roundness is a symbol of family unity and harmony,
so many round foods are served. The most famous festival
food is mooncake, made with sweet fillings. While mooncakes
previously came in all shapes and sizes, today they
are usually round, with Chinese symbols in the middle.
During Zhongqiu Jie, Mid-Autumn Festival in China, people
buy or make colorful paper lanterns in a variety of
shapes including animals and flowers. When it is dark,
candles placed inside the lanterns glow like little
moons. Hounen-Odori is the Japanese harvest festival.
literally means year of wealth and richness and Odori
means dance. Japanese families watch the full moon from
the backyard or by the window. It is thought to purify
the evils of the world. The day of the Harvest Moon
is a time to celebrate the divine moon by eating rice
dumplings, called "tsukimi dango".
Korea, Chu-sok, the Mid-Autumn festival, is a time to
eat rice cakes called "songpyon". Songpyon is made with
rice and bean paste or other sweet fillings. Children
love to dance the "Kang Kang Su Wol Lae" at this celebration.
This is also a time to visit family ancestors' tombs
and make food offerings.
Vietnam, eating lots of sweets, making lanterns and
dancing, are the ways to celebrate the Moon Festival,
Tet Trung Thu. Children love to dance the Dragon and
Unicorn Dances in the streets.
Moon Festival is a celebration of harvest, abundance
and family unity. It is one of the most widespread and
popular holidays after the New Year. So get ready to
eat mooncakes, rice cakes, dance and make paper lanterns:
You may also find some of these resources helpful in
Festival Song CD
Thanksgiving at Obaachan's (Japanese American)
and Hungry Ghosts
Dumplings and Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday
Tales, Activities & Recipes
Click here to see the recipe
for delicious mooncakes!