Moon festival. What is it all about?
This year the Mid-autumn festival is on the 13th of September since that will be the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. We decided to find out what is it all about and here is what we found out!
History: when did this all start?
I can bet 10 pounds that you would not guess correctly. You probably think that in the 1300s or maybe 900s?
Well, my friends, that is not even close, it dates back to 1045 BC. Which means that it has been celebrated for around 3000 years now. WOAH **. Initially, it was only emperors who celebrated it since they believed that by worshiping the moon the year will be good for harvesting. That is why they would make sacrifices on this day and perform some rituals. Later on, the aristocrats started copying the royal tradition and started celebrating it as well. This is how it spread further and became one of the biggest celebrations in China and some other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Singapore. Nowadays you can’t find people who would perform rituals and make sacrifices since the purpose of the festival is not worshiping the moon for good harvest anymore. These days it is all about the family reunions. Which brings us to the next section.
Traditions: what to do ?
1. Even during normal times, it is hard not to notice mooncakes in every other shop. Well, during the Moon festival it becomes impossible to stay away from them since that’s what it is all about. A fun fact: If you are having a family dinner then the mooncake should be cut into the same amount of pieces as the number of your family members. Mooncake is an inherent part of the whole thing, so do not be surprised when you will see Timeout writing about “best mooncakes to get in HK for the 2019 autumn festival” or luxury hotels selling their own made mooncakes. How about some Hyatt mooncakes for just 500 HKD?
2. Making the lanterns together. Why lanterns you might ask? Because lanterns traditionally represented fertility, which makes sense since the moon festival used to be all about harvest. Furthermore, lanterns brighten up the night so it makes it easier for families to watch the moonlight.
Celebrations: where to go?
After you made your lantern it is time to show it off on one of the lantern carnivals which will happen in various locations across Hong Kong and other countries of this celebration. These carnivals will often include much more than just lighting the lanterns. There will be pre-arranged dance performances, such as a very famous dragon once as seen on the picture, as well as shows and festive food stalls. Attending these is one of the best ways to celebrate the moon festival and to experience the culture in the most authentic way. This year's main celebrations will occur in Victoria Park and on the streets of Tai Hang. For more information visit https://www.hong-kong-traveller.com/mid-autumn-festival-lantern-carnivals.html
A very good alternative would be to escape to the beach with your loved ones, since starting from 2008 the Mid- Autumn festival became a public holiday. Even though it lasts for just 3 days that is more than enough to get a trip to Macao and stay at one of its great hotels such as The Wynn, Four Seasons or MGM.
This is all from us! Let us know what are your plans for this year's Moon fest. And have the best time whether it will be eating the mooncakes, lighting the lanterns or chilling on the beach combined with the previous two together.