The Mid-Autumn festival or 中秋节(Zhōng qiū jié) is both a centuries-old Chinese holiday and an important one in modern Chinese culture. Throughout the week, students from beginner to experienced mandarin classes took part in cultural activities to celebrate and understand this exciting holiday.

Students learned the festival’s long history and celebration activities such as sharing mooncakes, worshipping the moon with gifts, playing with and flying lanterns. They then participated in fun and engaging hands-on activities such as lantern and fan-making, traditional Chinese poetry and mooncake tasting.

To properly understand and appreciate the significance of this holiday, here is a little list of everything you need to know about the Mid-Autumn festival.

The Moon

The Mid-Autumn Festival is held of the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, the one night of the year when the moon is at its fullest and brightest. In the past, people would gather in courtyards to celebrate the harvest and make offerings to the moon. Today, people gather with friends and family to enjoy the view of the moon together.

Harvest Festival

In addition to the moon, the Mid-Autumn festival is also about celebrating the annual harvest. Revolving around food, it is a time when communities gather for feasts, eating plenty of dishes and finishing off with the most important and traditional dessert of the festival: mooncakes!

Mooncakes

Mooncakes (月饼 yuèbǐng) are traditional Chinese pastries. They are made from wheat, flour and all kinds of dense sweet or savory stuffing such as; pork, red bean paste, and egg yolk. These are quite filling, so be sure to save some room

Gathering

According to tradition, the roundness of the full moon is connected to a sense of completeness and togetherness, which is why the festival is a time to be with loved ones. It is a time for reunions where family members from close and far come together to admire the moon and eat traditional food and express their gratitude for one another.

The Legend of Chang’E Flying to the Moon

The Mid-Autumn Festival is an annual event that dates back centuries and is told through many legends. One of the most widely told legends is that of the goddess Change E, who flew to the moon and made it her permanent home, after drinking a magic elixir that gave her eternal life.

No matter where you are spending the holiday, we hope you get a chance to enjoy the moon and wish you and your loved ones 中秋节快乐 (zhōng qiū jié kuài lè)!

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival 2019 Dragons!

SCIS. Honoring Traditions.

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