The Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Harvest Festival are just a few of the different names for the celebrations that takes place in China, Korea, Vietnam, and other countries during the first weeks of September.
Here in London, celebrations will take place in China Town on Sunday 07 September. Chinatown’s Moon Festival is free to the public with entertainment set to begin at 1pm.
An important part of the Moon Festival is the food so all the bakeries of China Town will be selling the customary delicious Moon Cakes and many some of Chinatown’s best restaurants will also be opening food stalls to give visitors the chance to taste the diverse cuisine of London’s Chinatown.
A brief history of the Moon Festival
Originally arising out of the rice-growing cycle, this autumn festival was once a day of thanksgiving for the rice harvest. Following the lunar calendar, it takes place on the fifteenth day of the eighth month when the moon is at its fullest and brightest.
Zhongqiu Jie In China
During Mid-Autumn Festival in China, people buy or make colourful paper lanterns in a variety of shapes including animals and flowers.
Chusok in Korea
Chusok, the Mid-Autumn festival, is a time to eat rice cakes called "songpyon". Songpyon is made with rice and bean paste or other sweet fillings. In Korea this is also a time to visit family ancestors' tombs and make food offerings.
Hounen-Odori in Japan
Hounen-Odori is the Japanese harvest festival. Hounen literally means year of wealth and richness and Odori means dance.
Japanese families watch the full moon from the backyard or by the window. It is thought to purify the evils of the world. The day of the Harvest Moon is a time to celebrate the divine moon by eating rice dumplings, called "tsukimi dango".
Tet Trung Thu in Vietnam
Eating lots of sweets, making lanterns and dancing, are the ways to celebrate the Moon Festival, Tet Trung Thu in Vietnam. Children love to dance the Dragon and Unicorn Dances in the streets.