08 September 2016 by Stephanie Henwood
Mid-Autumn Festival, or otherwise known as ‘Moon Festival’ is the harvest festival celebrated by Chinese during the 8th Month of the Chinese Calendar.
It is interesting to find that eastern and western calendars differ, for example; According to Chinese lunar calendar, the 8th month is the second month of Autumn. In the UK Autumn begins in September (the 9th month for westerners).
Moon Festival is generally celebrated on 15th day of the 8th month. This is because it is calculated to be the middle of the autumn season.
This is a great time for the farmers and their harvest as traditionally the rice is now matured. Appreciation for this successful period of harvest is shown by worship to gods and displays of gratitude.
On the 15th day of each month the moon is at its roundest and brightest; For Chinese, this symbolises togetherness and an opportunity for Chinese culture to unite. Moon Festival is an opportunity for families to express their love for one another, a celebration is held a little like we do at Easter or Christmas – with a family meal and celebrations.
Our story of ‘Chinese Farmers Calendar’ with its clear and simplistic explanation, walks through the various stages of the year for farmers and harvest. This one is a great book to read with the children at Harvest time and refers to Mid-Autumn Festival.
We are holding our own celebrations here at Snowflake Books, with the company of our lovely Push Start Marketing team; On Monday 12th September we are having tea and cake! But not just any cake, our business development manager, Steph is going to try her hand at baking Moon Cakes.
Moon cakes are a Chinese bakery product, traditionally eaten at Mid-Autumn Festival, these fruit and pastry cakes are considered an indispensable delicacy.
You can purchase moon cake moulds online for around £5 (wŭ in Pinyin) and there are so many pretty designs to choose from. Watch this space for pictures of our Moon Cake attempts and festival celebrations.
Want to have a go at making your own moon cakes?