MID-AUTUMN Festival is a harvest festival, celebrated in most East Asian countries, such as China and Vietnam. The festival takes places on month 8 day 15 of the Chinese calendar.
It is the second most important festival in China after Chinese New Year. To the Chinese, the festival means family reunion and peace. It is also called “the moon festival” as it is celebrated when the moon is believed to be the biggest and fullest.
This is among seven public holidays in China, which include the New Year, the Spring Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, Labour Day, Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National day celebrations.
This week, the Mid-Autumn festival also known as the Moon Festival is being observed. Just like the other holidays, the Moon festival is of great significance to the Chinese, In last Sunday, a total of 15 million Chinese traveled by using speed train in their home from major towns.
Major Chinese cities have been deserted as almost all Chinese citizens travel home to be with their families on this occasion. Government offices, schools, banks and private business premises, for instance, close business owing to minimal or no activity at all.
A Teacher of Beijing International Chinese College (BICC) Gao Yuan said Families get together on this day and enjoy the moon and affection between family mem bers. The Mid-Autumn Festival easily translates to harvest celebrations to them. She said Mooncakes are the must-eat Mid-Autumn food in China. They are a kind of traditional Chinese pastry.
Chinese people see in the roundness of moon cakes a symbol of reunion and happiness. Other foods eaten during the festival are harvest foods, such as crabs, pumpkins, pomeloes, and grapes. People enjoy them at their freshest and most nutritious.
“Although traditions have changed over time with modernity setting in, the attachment to the Moon Festival remains the same. It is about our well-being. It is a time to look back at what we have achieved. But it is also about our togetherness.” She said.
Others hold the view that this is a good time for gathering, such as family and friends coming together. They argue that the full moon presents them with an opportunity to experience family reunion. Yet, to many others it is a moment of thanksgiving through prayers to the Supreme Deity.
Special prayers are made during this time such as for blessings to have children, spouses, long life and or for a good future. She noted that young men and women in relationships hold the festival so dear and they use the occasion to make their vows to each other.
To others, it’s an opportunity to propose partnership or marriage. All these are done under the beaming moonlight. It technically touches every member and aspect of the Chinese society. No one feels excluded or detached. During the weeklong celebrations, mooncakes are the order of the day. They are the hallmark of this festival. In Chinese culture the round shape signifies completeness.
But, aside from its traditional significance to the Chinese, the government officials always use the occasion to outline government agenda. A key feature of this endeavour, however, regards China’s push for globalisation.
The officials expressed President Xi Jinping administration’s commitment to the full realization of dreams especially espoused in his government-sponsored Belt and Road economic framework. Under this platform, the officials argue that member countries will realize steady economic growth in the spirit of a shared future. They hailed the initiative as best ever that will especially uplift living standards and alleviate biting poverty in developing countries of Africa.
In this holiday, Beijing Service Bureau for Different Missions in Chaoyang prepare the event at Dong Yue Temple and a series of activities had been lined up other than speeches from prominent people.