The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival, akin to Oktoberfest or Sukkot, which falls around late September or early October, on the first full moon of autumn. Why is it called the “Mid-Autum” festival if it’s at the beginning of autumn? Who knows. It’s also sometimes called the Moon Festival, which seems more appropriate.
Because that’s what this whole holiday revolves around: the moon! When I asked my friends what Chinese people do for Mid-Autumn Festival, they were like: …eat mooncakes, and look at the moon?
So that’s what we did: after going swimming (nothing to do with mid-autumn festival, we just wanted to go swimming), my friend Vicky picked up moon cakes from this very popular mooncake bakery and from…KFC (she works there, OK?) And we went to the park and ate mooncakes.
In the States I had only ever had sweet mooncakes, which are usually too much for me. On Thursday, one of our classes had a Mid-Autumn Festival show and they served us mooncakes. They were all out of chocolate, so I got a strawberry one and it confirmed my prior feelings that it was way too sweet. But in China they also have savory moon cakes! And of course the Chinese bakery ones were great, but also so were the KFC ones? Wonders truly never cease.
Anyway after eating a sufficiently satisfying number of pork and beef moon cakes, we walked along the river as the sun set, then crossed the Nanxing Bridge and took way too many pictures of the moon. Which was full. Because it’s the moon festival. As I mentioned before.
And that’s how you celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. The end!
I honestly thought there’d be more fanfare to it, like it would be a really big traditional celebration, but it’s not. I suppose some holidays are just like Presidents Day: sure, there’s meaning behind but, but just enjoy the day off work and stop overthinking it.