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Happy August Moon Festival

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Chinese families will celebrate the August Moon Festival today Sept. 29 (According to Lunar Calendar). A tradition that dates back over a thousand years to the T’ang Dynasty it remains one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar second only to the Lunar New Year. Also known as the Harvest Moon Festival, Lantern Festival the tradition is to celebrate with family reunions and bountiful meals similar to Thanksgiving in the USA.

Similar harvest festivals with their own unique traditions also occur during the same time – in Korea its the three-day Chuseok festival; in Vietnam Tet Trung Thu; and in Japan  Tsukimi festival.

Dessert Mooncakes fill the refrigerated cabinets at a local supermarket

In the weeks leading up to the Autumn Moon Festival supermarket shelves all filled with mooncakes from overseas while local bakeries begin to churn out their own. Mooncakes are a big part of the traditional celebration because they look like a moon when they are cut open. Typical mooncakes are made with a lotus seed paste surrounding a salted egg yolk, other traditional varieties include mixed nuts, and winter melon.

Various mooncakes from overseas fill supermarket shelves weeks before the August Moon Festival

Mochi Mooncakes are among the offerings

Mooncakes, cookies and other baked goods are part of the celebration.

Other traditions include hanging auspicious red lanterns or public celebrations, in Hong Kong the Fire Dragon re-emerged after a 4-year pandemic pause.