As celebrations wrap up the team at Vanguard International are looking back at the ways our different team members celebrated this year’s Mid-Autumn festivities.
Also known as the Moon Festival, the night of the full moon signals a time of completeness and abundance. Taking place this year on September 21, 2021 the Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie) is a day of family reunions much like a Western Thanksgiving.
In Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, it is sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival, but regardless of the name used, this centuries-old festival remains a beloved annual ritual celebrating an abundance of food and family.
Moon cakes remain one of the oldest traditional ways to celebrate the festival. Other traditional foods for a Chinese Mid-Autumn feast are red — for good luck. Lobster and salmon are particular favorites along with apples, pomegranates, and roasted chestnuts.
There is also an abundance of freshly harvested vegetables available at markets such as pumpkins, squash, and grapes.
We chatted with our teams across Vanguard’s Asian offices to learn about their traditions, and how they celebrated the annual autumn festival.
Timothy Li, Vanguard Manager – Shanghai:
“Normally I visit the Guangzhou Jiangnan market to guage pre-Moon Festival sales and to celebrate with our customers. I can always see and sample the new season’s flavors of Chinese produce like mandarin oranges. Then I will celebrate with our Guangzhou customers and their families over dinner and share the festival fresh fruit and moon cake together. Then l head back to Shanghai and go to “Yu Garden” to see the festival light show.”
Jensen Chou, Vanguard Manager – Taiwan
“As far as I can recall from my childhood, the Moon Festival always began with a good meal at night under bright moonlight that brought together our family and friends to sit outdoors, eat lots of moon cake, candies, other cakes, pomelo, and other delacacies,and to celebrate the festival. This was also a time celebrated with happy hour, often combined by watching the brilliant moon quietly. We also pay remembrance to family members or friends that were not present, or beloved family members who had passed away. Immersed in the cool breeze and peaceful atmosphere of the autumn night, we chat, or sing occasionally. The beautiful night of Moon Festival was always enjoyed leisurely.
Nowadays things are so much different. Moon cake or other cakes and candies are not as frequently consumed because of blood sugar concerns. Instead, people in Taiwan prefer barbecue ANYWHERE, including at the porch of your home, a street corner, an open space in the riverfront, or just in front of a home doorway.
I live nearby a university campus where barbecue is not allowed during the Moon Festival. As such, I can find a place for a quiet walk and enjoy a peaceful moment in the Moon Festival night.
Looking ahead to Moon Festival 2021, it is going to be a special one. After most regional government offices cancelled the intended celebration activities for the festival due to Covid, people here will be more cautious in gathering for any events. No barbecue, no moon cake, however we all know it is life that matters the most!”
Kirk Son, Vanguard Manager – Korea
“When in Korea, we visit our family homes. All other siblings and cousins come home too, so it’s a big party for every Korean family. Usually, we stay visiting our families’ homes at least for 1-2 nights and take in lots of meals and drinks together.
Kids are filled with excitement as well because they stay with other cousins and get lots of Moon Festival treats. In our family, they also get to have one big sleep over and often like to watch scary movies and shriek together!
For this year, we sadly will not be able to be home in Korea for Moon Festival. Fortunately, my wife is a great cook (and my kids and I are good helpers!) so we cook a lot of food. We usually make dumplings, rice cake soup, Korean pancakes, with many vegetable side dishes.
We will take a drive somewhere, such as a state park or beach to get some fresh air. Sometimes, we hang out with other Korean families that go to our same church. Of course, we also do a lot of virtual video calls with our parents, siblings, and cousins who live in Korea.”
No matter how or where you celebrated the festival this year, on behalf of the entire Vanguard International team we wish everyone a joyful 2021 Moon Festival.
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