The Mid Autumn Festival is celebrated in China and various other communities all over the world with Chinese immigrants. The festival celebrates the harvest moon on the fifteenth day of the eight month on the Chinese calendar.
This festival coincides with the Korean holiday Chuseok and Japanese holiday Tsukimi which also celebrate the autumn harvest moon.
It is a designated holiday in Mainland China and Taiwan but unfortunately not in Singapore.
However, the Mid Autumn festival also known as the Mooncake festival, Lantern festival or Chinese Thanksgiving festival, is observed in Singapore with smaller scale festivities held at Chinatown in Singapore where hundreds of lanterns are lit up during the launch.
Mooncakes are traditional Chinese baked sweet desserts consumed during the Mid Autumn festival celebrations. The classic mooncake has a golden brown baked skin with a sweet lotus paste filling and savoury salted duck egg yolk inside. Modern mooncakes are increasingly popular with exotic flavours such as green tea, champagne, tea and fruit flavours.
Chinese people have celebrated the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang Dynasty ( 16th to 10th century B.C.E ).
The festival was a time to celebrate and enjoy the successful reaping of vital crops such as rice with food offerings made in honor of the moon. Today, it is still an occasion for giving in the form of gifting of mooncakes to friends, family or business associates, get-together with friends and relatives to eat mooncakes, admire the moon as a symbol of harmony and unity.
Children and adults would tote traditional paper lanterns lit by the candles inside and carry them around as they watch the full moon.