Much like in Western cultures the Chinese celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival traditionally to coincide the cycles of the moon and the end of the harvest season. In China, the Moon Festival, as it is also called, is the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival
Mid-Autumn Festival is an inherited custom of moon sacrificial ceremonies. The ancient Chinese observed that the movement of the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production. Hence, to express their thanks to the moon and celebrate the harvest, they offered a sacrifice to the moon on autumn days.
The origins of the Mid-Autumn Festival can be traced back to the Zhou Dynasty (1046 – 256 BC) and was more often practiced by the royal class on the Autumnal Equinox. At that time, the custom had no festival background at all. It was much later, approximately 600AD that social prosperity inspired the custom of appreciating the moon sacrifice ceremony among common people.
Over the centuries, many romantic legends have risen around this popular celebration and many of them have the moon as the centre object. On the festival day, family members gather to offer sacrifice to the moon, appreciate the bright full moon, eat moon cakes, and express strong yearnings toward family members and friends who live afar. In addition, there are some other customs like playing lanterns, and dragon and lion dances in some regions hence objects like lanterns becoming also common symbolisms of the festivity… check out our Mid-Autumn Food Tasting Festival Poster…
One of the most popular customs during the festival involves the Moon Cake, the special food of the Mid-Autumn Festival. On that day, people sacrifice moon cakes to the moon as an offering and eat them for celebration. Moon cakes come in various flavours according to the region. The moon cakes are round, symbolising the reunion of a family, so it is easy to understand how the eating of moon cakes under the round moon can evoke longing for distant relatives and friends. Nowadays, people present moon cakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life.
Those of you attending our Mid-Autumn Festival Food Tasting next Wednesday 14th of September (2016) will have the opportunity to try out our Moon Cakes, as well as many other delicious specialities traditional for the day. If you haven’t booked you ticket, you can still do so contacting Jacqui on 083 4292334.
Our Mid-Autumn Festival event will take on Wednesday, 14th September, 2016, between 7pm and 10pm at China Sichuan Restaurant (Admission: €50)