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The Chinese Thanksgiving: Mid Autumn Festival 2012

The Mid Autumn Festival, also known as Mooncake or Lantern festival, is a traditional Chinese harvest holiday. Since it’s a Chinese event, it is celebrated in several countries and even marked as a public holiday in Taiwan. The actual holiday lands of the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, but the festival lasts a full month. This year, the holiday is on September 30th, while the festivities will start on September 9th lasting until October 14th (dates may vary by country, but these dates are accurate for Singapore).

Chinese Lanterns in Singapore

The festival plays a huge part on worshipping the moon which resulted in the tradition of mooncakes. Considering the Mid Autumn Festival is a time of harvest, many food offerings are made especially with fruit, but nothing says Mid Autumn like the round treat filled with either red bean or lotus seed paste and topped with Chinese characters of harmony or longevity. These mooncakes are considered a delicacy and are shared between friends and family during the festival.

Mooncakes are not the only tradition of this moon rabbit iconed festival. In some parts of China, matchmaking young men and women is common by hosting dances to bring them together. Almost everywhere, a big part of the festival consists of attention catching lanterns, whether flying or standing still, their bright lights and colors entertain all. Burning incense, planting mid-autumn trees, and fire dragon dances are also traditional actions of the Mid Autumn Festival.

The Vietnam version involves lion dancing that occurs in your own home. Lion dancers ring doorbells to gain entry permission. While inside, they dance to bring luck and fortune to the house and are tipped on the way out.

In Singapore, Chinatown becomes ten times more vibrant than it already is with fun bright lanterns and loads of activities. These activities include lantern painting, shopping at the huge bazaar, and watching night performances and festive street light-ups. It’s truly an experience not to be missed whether in Singapore, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, or another country, the Mid Autumn Festival will have you giving thanks.

Photo by mattk1979

Article by Lauren

Lauren Vita Sgarlato quit her corporate New York lifestyle in 2009 to explore the world for a few months. Little did she know, a few months would turn into years. Having traveled around 30 countries or so, she decided to settle for love in Brazil, but she’s itching to return to Southeast Asia, especially for the food! Learn more about us

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