Mid-Autumn Festival in Taiwan – September 13, 2019
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a Chinese harvest festival, also celebrated in Taiwan. It falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month in the traditional Chinese calendar. It is an official public holiday in Taiwan, as well as China, Macau, and Hong Kong.
The festival is known by many names, such Harvest Moon Festival, Mooncake Festival, and Reunion Festival. It celebrates three fundamental concepts that have shaped the traditions of the festival, Gathering: family and friends come together to celebrate and harvest crops, Thanksgiving: people give thanks for good harvest and Praying: people ask deities for material or conceptual satisfaction, such as health, wealth, babies etc.
The Mid-Autumn Festival has been celebrated for centuries. One of its most important parts is moon worship, as moon symbolizes femininity and fertility. On this day, the Chinese honor Chang-yi, the goddess of the Moon.
Modern celebration of the festival includes family gatherings, traditional lion and dragon dances, lighting lanterns, folk games etc. Probably, the best known tradition is making and sharing mooncakes, small round cakes filled with lotus seed paste or red bean.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also celebrated in Vietnam, where it is known as Tết Trung Thu or Children’s Festival. It is marked with lantern processions and lion dances.