Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival 2013

We have just come to the end of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival for 2013, a celebration dating back to the Zhou Dynasty starting in 1046BC where the people of Ancient China celebrated the moon’s role in the changing of the seasons and its effect on agriculture. This year’s festival took place from 19th-21st September, and 2014’s festival will take place from 6th-8th September. It is said that this time of year is an especially pleasant time to travel around China, so if you are planning a trip you may wish to incorporate the Mid-Autumn Festival into your itinerary!

Chinese lanterns

The day is dedicated to celebrating the moon and showing appreciation for the role it plays in the agricultural calendar. In some regions, dragon and lion dances may take place, and the lighting of lanterns may also play a role in the day. As well as this, families gather to eat mooncakes, which are round in shape to symbolise the reunion of the family. These are sacrificed to the moon as a token of appreciation, and are eaten as a celebration or offered to friends and family members to wish them a long, prosperous life. This explains why the celebration may also be known as the Mooncake Festival.

The festival always takes place during a full moon to allow the Chinese people to revel in its beauty, and is a form of harvest festival that has also become a significant part of the Vietnamese calendar. There is also a strong association between the Mid-Autumn Festival and the celebration of marriages and partnerships, with communities in some parts of China holding ceremonies and dances to help young women find a partner. It is one of the most important festivals in the Chinese calendar, and visitors are warmly welcomed to join in with the celebrations and festivities.

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