Fun Facts about the Mid Autumn Festival
- The Mid-Autumn Festival (or Zhong Qiu Jie in Mandarin), is also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival.
- It is traditionally celebrated on the 15th Day of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar which is typically somewhere in September or early October. This is during the middle of autumn when the moon is at its roundest and brightest.
- The Festival dates back more than 2,000 years ago in China, officially being established during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). During this period in history, Chinese emperors and their people prayed to deities to thank them for a bountiful harvest.1
- It is the second most important festival in China and East Asian countries after Chinese New Year .2 It is similar to Thanksgiving as families gather together to celebrate the festival and admire the moon.
- The most associated legend with the Mid-Autumn festival revolves around the goddess Chang’e who drank the elixir of immortality and flew to the moon. According to the most famous variation of the tale, Chang’e’s husband Hou Yi, was granted the elixir of immortality by the gods for shooting down 9 of the 10 suns circling earth, saving it from the scorching heat. One day while out hunting, Hou Yi’s deceitful assistant Peng Heng attempted to steal the elixir. To protect the elixir, Chang’e consumed the elixir and flew, a power given by the elixir of immortality that allows the user to ascend to the heavens. Chang’e decide to stay on the moon as it was closest to the earth so that she can stay as close as she could to her husband.3
- Mooncakes are one of the most popular pastries during this festival and given as gifts to friends and family together with tea. Mooncakes come in various flavours such as red bean, green tea, lotus seed paste, meat fillings and many others.
- Mooncake is often paired with tea. One reason is that the tea’s delicate scent and flavour perfectly complements the sweetness of mooncake. It also helps with digestion and cleanses the pallet.
- All types of tea can be paired with mooncakes but popular ones include green tea or jasmine tea. Green tea goes well with sweet mooncakes such as red bean whereas jasmine goes well meaty mooncakes.