Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Mid-Autumn Festival

by : 
Rik Glauert

In China, and beyond, at the moment we are celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival. Although it’s a slightly unglamorous name for a festival, it is the second most important festival in Greater China, after Chinese New Year.

The festival goes back many thousands of years and is celebrated (as you might have guessed) right in the middle of autumn. The festival is based around gathering together with your family, giving thanks for what you have and praying for good fortunes in the future.

The festival is celebrated when the moon is at its fullest and roundest. It is customary to spend the night with family and loved ones looking up at the moon. A touching aspect of the festival for me is to look at the moon and to think about and remember all of your family and ancestors that have looked up at the same moon during the festival.

This year was a particularly good year for moon-watching; the moon was the biggest and brightest it will be until 2037! The watching of the moon is so important that an insurance company in China offers a policy to compensate for emotional damage if you cannot see the moon on the night of the Mid-Autumn festival.

In China it is customary to give and eat Mooncakes around the time of the festival. The traditional version feature pastry with a lotus-seed paste inside, and usually a salty egg yolk. These days you can get them in all sorts of exciting (and more appealing) flavours.

This is the third time I have been in Asia for Mid-Autumn festival. The first year I celebrated the festival in Guangzhou. Guangzhou witnesses a huge transport rush as everyone leaves the city to spend time with their families. Over 3.3 million people travel through Guangzhou during the festival – one of the largest human migrations on the planet.

Last year I spent the festival in Sanya which is on China’s tropical island, Hainan. Here, we found many people celebrating the festival on the beach. There were giant picnics, music, dancing and a lot of fireworks and firecrackers being set off.

This year I spent the holiday in Hong Kong. Here, they mainly celebrate through lanterns and lights here, as well as Mooncakes. In Victoria Park there is a fantastic lantern festival featuring a “Rising Moon”, constructed out of thousands of re-used plastic bottles. There’s also many dragon dances and bonfire parties.

For me, Mid-Autumn festival has always been a time to celebrate a bit of Chinese culture and get to know the people and the families that surround me. I also enjoy looking up at the moon and thinking of my family and friends back in Britain and around the world, and think of them looking up at the same moon as me.


Have you ever been to a festival like China's Mid Autumn Festival? Tell us about it. 


clsn's picture
clsn 21 December, 2013 - 14:11

We celebrate Mid-Autumn festival in Hong Kong but we still have to go to school on that day if it is weekday. There is a public hoilday right after Mid-Autumn Festival. No school =)

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Toma English's picture
Toma English 28 October, 2013 - 20:18

No I haven't been to a one like this before
those eastern-Asia celebrations and feasts we don't know about them anything here in the middle east :)

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kieungoc's picture
kieungoc 26 September, 2013 - 07:35

this year,i had happy mid authumn vestival.i didn't do it with my family,my parent and my older sister live in ha i had a party with my best call "Hop".we all made corn cake by ourself.we ate grapefruit and moon cake,we were talking about our dream and universary which we are going to study at there in the future.we listening to music and's my memoriable experience.

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Lavender's picture
Lavender 24 September, 2013 - 13:31

Yes. We have moon cakes just for this occasion. My favorite flavor is mung bean with a salty egg yolk inside the cake.

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Lavender's picture
Lavender 24 September, 2013 - 10:38

Well my country also has the same festival. But it isn't as big and important as in China. People consider this is the festival for kids. There are some ancient streets in the city with full of lanterns, they are very beautiful, especially at night.
In China, students don't have to go to school at this festival but students here are not allowed to stay at home if it isn't the weekend :(
Poor me, I couldn't see the moon at Mid-Autumn because it was raining a lot and the clouds had covered the moon.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 24 September, 2013 - 11:18

Hi Lavender! It's a shame the weather wasn't great for you this year :( Do you have any special foods or traditions for this festival? And thanks also to justcricketforme for letting us know about celebrations in your country, so here's a question for everyone: does your country celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival too? Let us know!
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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justcricketforme's picture
justcricketforme 21 September, 2013 - 08:50

Well, in Pakistan we have a spring festival called 'Basant'. In that we have a big fair in cities. I have been in one held in F-9 park. It's really colourful and eye catching. You can see colourful kites every where in the air. People dance tridional dances and sing triditional songs. We enjoy tradional food and play games like tug of war, hide and seek and many other games for enjoyment and fun. It looks and is very colourful and fun with druming, dancing, songs and colourful dresses!

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