As the autumnal equinox approaches, so does the much-anticipated Chinese Moon Festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival. This centuries-old celebration is steeped in tradition, culture, and a sense of unity among families and communities.
The Chinese Moon Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, which typically aligns with September or October in the Gregorian calendar. This year, the festival will be celebrated on September 29th.
Rooted in ancient Chinese folklore, the Moon Festival commemorates the myth of Chang’e, the Moon Goddess, and her husband Hou Yi, a legendary archer. According to the legend, Hou Yi saved the world by shooting down nine of ten suns that scorched the earth. As a reward, he was given the Elixir of Immortality, but when Chang’e consumed it, she was lifted to the moon.
The Moon Festival is a time for families of our Vanguard China offices to come together, offering gratitude for the harvest and invoking blessings for unity, prosperity, and longevity. As this is a holiday rooted in many food focused celebrations it is one that holds extra meaning for the Vanguard teams.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the customs around this year’s Moon Festival.
One of the most cherished traditions of the festival is moon gazing. Families and friends gather in open spaces, gardens, or balconies to admire the full moon’s luminous glow. It’s believed that the moon is at its brightest and roundest on this night, symbolizing completeness, and togetherness.
Lanterns and Candlelight
Intricate lanterns, ranging from simple to elaborate designs, are hung in homes and public spaces. The soft glow of lanterns and candles imparts a warm, inviting atmosphere, signifying hope and guidance.
Dragon and Lion Dances
Festivals in China are seldom complete without these lively and colorful performances. The energetic dances, accompanied by rhythmic drumming and vibrant costumes, are believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.
Mooncakes are the quintessential treat of the festival, embodying unity and completeness. These dense, round pastries are traditionally filled with lotus seed paste or red bean paste, and often contain a salted egg yolk at the center to represent the moon.
In recent years, modern variations have emerged, with creative fillings like matcha, custard, and even ice cream. The act of gifting and sharing mooncakes is a gesture of goodwill and an expression of gratitude towards loved ones.
Now, let’s delve into the culinary delights that grace Moon Festival feasts:
Apart from mooncakes, traditional dishes like osmanthus-scented duck, taro cakes, and double-yolk lotus seed paste mooncakes are prepared with meticulous care. These dishes reflect regional variations in Chinese cuisine, showcasing the diversity of culinary traditions across the country.
Large, fragrant pomelos, a type of citrus fruit, are often exchanged as gifts during the festival. They symbolize abundance, prosperity, and good fortune.
Fragrant teas, such as oolong and jasmine, are enjoyed during the Moon Festival. The act of tea appreciation fosters a sense of tranquility and mindfulness, complementing the festive atmosphere.
From everyone at the Vanguard team we want to wish all who celebrate a joyous Chinese Moon Festival. Happy Moon Festival!
Cada día es diferente en Vanguard; con nuevos agricultores que se unen a nuestra comunidad, se están introduciendo nuevos cultivos y nuevas variedades y se abren nuevos mercados. Manténgase actualizado con lo que está sucediendo en nuestro mundo en expansión.