Mid-Autumn Festival

Stephanie Zhang, Staff Writer

The Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Harvest Festival is an event celebrated by many East Asian countries. Popularized by the Tang Dynasty of China, it is meant to express thanks to the moon for the year’s bountiful harvest by giving offerings. It falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar with a full moon, usually around late September and early October. This year, it was celebrated on Friday, September 13th.

The festival is mainly held for three reasons: family gatherings, giving thanks and praying. Many celebrate it by eating moon cakes, small cakes paired with tea that are filled with red bean, or lotus seed paste. They usually contain one or two salted egg yolks so when cut in half, it resembles a full moon. Since moon cakes are round, eating them symbolizes reunion and completeness. Other ways to celebrate the Moon Festival include burning incense for ancestors and deities, or lighting and releasing lanterns into the air.