The Mid-Autumn Festival: Celebrations in Other Asian Countries
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!!
Mid-Autumn Festival is an chinese ancient holiday that began 3,000 years ago. It happen On the 15th day of the eighth lunar calendar every year. I am pretty sure a lot of people have heard the countless moon stories, poems, superstitions, and even sent people up to the moon to make sure it is not made of cheese. It is a religious ritual praying for a good harvest has now become one of the most celebrated festivals.
Influenced by Chinese culture, the Mid-Autumn Festival will also be a festival in some Asian countries, especially in the Chinese circle. However, different countries have various forms and traditions. While sitting back, relax and enjoy the glamorous moonlight, let's take a look at how different places spend their Mid-Autumn Festival :
In Japan, on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month is called "Tsukimi" (Tsukimi). The tradition of enjoy the full moon is influenced by the chinese in a couple thousand years ago, gradually developed into family reunion banquet under moonlight. Compared to the bustling Mid-Autumn Festival in other countries, the Japanese "Tsukimi" is much peaceful and quiet. Japanese people eat sweets made of mochi, called "Tsukimi Dango" instead of mooncake.
In South Korea, people called mid-autumn festival as Chuseok(추석) means "Autumn eve", the day when families visit the tombs of their ancestors to clean the gravesites, pray to their ancestors. Korean Families will prepare rice wine and Songpyeon (half-moon shaped rice cake) for the worship and enjoy it with family members afterward. Songpyeons contain sweet fillings such as black sesame seeds, red bean paste, chestnuts etc.
Malaysia & Singapore
Mid-Autumn Festival also called Lantern Festival in both Malaysia and Singapore, massive celebrations and parades take place in Penang as well as different cities where large Chinese communities lives.
Mid-Autumn Festival in Thailand has its own legend story. The legend says that on this special day, the Eight Immortals go to the Palace of the Moon to wish happy birthday to the goddess of Mercy and offer peaches, bringing good fortune to people on Earth. Likewise, families will pray to the Moon and offering each other peach-shaped cakes. The street in Bangkok will be filled with shiny, colourful lights and people buy mooncakes and fruits for the festival.
In Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Moon Festival (Tết Trung Thu), and is the second largest festival in the country. Every family sits on the balcony or garden to admire the moon and taste moon cakes on this day. Like Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, people will parade with jacquard lanterns and lion dances everywhere on this day. In the two cities of Hoi An and Hue in central Vietnam, people put light water lanterns on the river, which is quite spectacular and romantic.
If you have a chance to experience Mid-Autumn Festival in a foreign countries, make sure you don't missed out the unique local celebrations and events.