How Different Countries Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival


The Mid-Autumn Competition is noticed by thousands and thousands of individuals throughout East Asia on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. This implies the competition date modifications yearly within the Gregorian calendar, however it’s at all times across the time of the harvest moon. This 12 months, the Mid-Autumn Competition falls on Sept. 10.

Sure actions, like moon gazing and displaying lanterns, are in style throughout a number of Asian nations—as is the image of a rabbit on the moon. However there are many native traditions too

Right here’s a have a look at how the competition is well known:

Illuminated lanterns are seen at Lee Tung Road forward of the upcoming Mid-Autumn Competition on September 6, 2022 in Hong Kong, China.

Li Zhihua/China Information Service through Getty Pictures


The legend of Chang’e and her ascent to the moon has lengthy been related to the Mid-Autumn festivities in China.

The mythology says that in historic instances the Earth had 10 suns, which scorched the world. A celebrated archer named Hou Yi drew his bow and shot 9 of the suns down, saving humanity. For his heroic act, the gods gave him the capsule of immortality, which he handed to his spouse Chang’e for safekeeping. Nevertheless, certainly one of his followers, Peng Meng, tried to steal the capsule whereas Hou Yi was out looking—so Chang’e swallowed it to stop it from falling into Peng Meng’s palms. She turned immortal and floated as much as the moon, the place she has lived since. Aside from Chang’e, the moon additionally has one other resident: the Jade Rabbit.

In Chinese language tradition, the total moon symbolizes household reunion, thus Mid-Autumn is a competition to be celebrated at residence. Folks admire the moon and eat moon cakes, which come filled with a wide range of fillings, from the standard salted egg yolk and lotus paste to up to date variations with ice-cream, fruit, and custard fillings.

A staff member arranges moon cakes at a supermarket as the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, Sept. 5, 2022, Handan, Hebei province, China. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

A workers member arranges moon truffles at a grocery store because the Mid-Autumn Competition approaches, Sept. 5, 2022, Handan, Hebei province, China.

VCG/VCG through Getty Pictures

Different meals eaten throughout the competition embrace taro (as a result of its identify in lots of Chinese language dialects is a homonym for “success comes”) and hairy crab, a seasonal delicacy.

Lanterns play an vital position within the festivities. Lately, the candle-lit paper lanterns of yore are not often seen. Most youngsters carry across the battery-powered selection. Single-use glow sticks are additionally frequent—resulting in appeals from environmentalists for curbs on their use.

Some areas have particular Moon Competition customs. In japanese China’s Zhejiang province, the Qiantang River’s tidal bore attracts many guests. In Hunan province, girls from the Dong ethnic group typically steal greens—as a result of based on legend the moon goddess will bathe “candy dew” on them and whoever consumes them will likely be wholesome and blissful.

South Korea

South Koreans have fun Chuseok, also referred to as hangawi, right now. It’s one of many nation’s greatest and most vital holidays, alongside Seollal, or lunar new 12 months.

Many return to their hometowns to have fun with huge household reunions and maintain memorial providers, referred to as charye, for his or her ancestors. The day earlier than and after are additionally public holidays in South Korea, which permits individuals time to journey residence. This 12 months, Chuseok is being noticed from Sept. 9 to 12.

South Koreans traveling for the Chuseok holiday are seen at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, on Sept. 8, 2022. (SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

South Koreans touring for the Chuseok vacation are seen at Incheon Worldwide Airport in Incheon, South Korea, on Sept. 8, 2022.

SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg through Getty Pictures

At festive gatherings, Koreans eat songpyeon, a half-moon-shaped rice cake crammed with a semi-sweet stuffing, in addition to seasonal fruit and veggies similar to persimmons and chestnuts. In addition they take pleasure in a bunch of leisure, together with the ganggangsullae, a conventional circle dance. And naturally, come nighttime, individuals head out to admire the total moon the place they appear out for the moon rabbit, or daltokki. The creature is claimed to be seen on the lunar floor, busy making rice truffles.


The Japanese have fun Tsukimi, which interprets to “trying on the moon.” Just like the Koreans, they attempt to spot the moon rabbit, referred to as tsuki no usagi in Japanese, because the animal goes about its festive activity of creating the rice truffles often called mochi.

The festivities are mentioned so far again to Japan’s Nara interval (710-794). Within the following Heian period (794-1185), Tsukimi was in style amongst aristocrats. Moon viewing events, steadily held on boats, included consuming, listening to music and composing poetry. By the Edo interval (1603-1868) the custom was being extensively loved by the general public.

In this Sept. 19, 2013 file photo, a dancer in Osaka, Japan, performs as part of the moon ritual of Sumiyoshi, held every Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

On this Sept. 19, 2013 file picture, a dancer in Osaka, Japan, performs as a part of the moon ritual of Sumiyoshi, held each Mid-Autumn Competition

Zhang Peng/LightRocket through Getty Pictures

Historically, tsukimi is marked by adorning the house with pampas grass, to signify a bountiful harvest. Festive snacks embrace tsukimi-dango, a spherical rice dumpling symbolizing well being and happiness, and seasonal produce like chestnuts and pumpkin. Eggs are additionally consumed, as their oval whiteness is felt to be suggestive of the total moon. Even quick meals manufacturers get in on the act, including eggs to burgers.


The Mid-Autumn Competition in Vietnam known as Tet Trung Thu and is also referred to as Tet Thieu Nhi, or Youngsters’s Competition.

One in style story linked to the competition is that of a woodsman named Chu Cuoi, who floated away with a magical banyan tree to the moon. It’s mentioned one can see Cuoi underneath the tree on the face of the total moon. Throughout the competition, kids holding lanterns—mentioned to assist information Cuoi on his return to earth—spill into the streets and watch lion dances.

Visitors pose for photos with the costumed Monkey King from Chinese mythology on Sept. 26, 2020 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Mid-Autumn Festival is an occasion for a children's night out and family gathering (Linh Pham/Getty Images)

Guests pose for photographs with the costumed Monkey King from Chinese language mythology on Sept. 26, 2020 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Mid-Autumn Competition is an event for a kids’s night time out and household gathering

Linh Pham/Getty Pictures

Households mark Tet Trung Thu by inserting truffles and fruit trays, symbolizing filial piety, earlier than ancestral altars of their properties. Moon truffles are additionally a staple in Vietnam, and are available in two sorts: banh nuong (oven-baked) and banh deo (soft-crusted).


Some three-quarters of Singaporeans are of Chinese language descent, so lots of the Mid-Autumn Competition customs and traditions from China are additionally noticed in Singapore.

Prior to now, celebrations centered on Chinatown, with goldfish- and star-shaped lanterns hanging from outlets in Temple Road and Smith Road. Conventional bakeries supplied moon truffles.

This Sept. 7, 2022 photo shows Mid-Autumn Festival decorations installed at Singapore's Chinatown. (Then Chih Wey/Xinhua via Getty Images)

This Sept. 7, 2022 picture exhibits Mid-Autumn Competition decorations put in at Singapore’s Chinatown.

Then Chih Wey/Xinhua through Getty Pictures

Lately, Singaporeans have fun the Mid-Autumn Competition with extravagant lantern shows held throughout the city-state in venues similar to Gardens by the Bay. The Chinatown celebrations are additionally on a grander scale. The realm transforms right into a busy bazaar, with pop-up stalls promoting ornamental ornaments and festive snacks. There are additionally lantern-painting competitions and stay performances.

Moon gazing continues to be a giant a part of the competition, with the seashore being a well-liked location for the exercise.

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