Hello there! Did you by any chance notice that beautiful full moon we had last night? It looked like it deserved being serenaded with the artistic likes of Moonlight Sonata and O’ My Silver Moon. Yes, yesterday was the Mid-Autumn’s festival and just in case you need a little crash course in all things Mid-Autumn, then you’ve come to the right place.
When speaking about Chinese festivals, whether they be Mid-Autumn’s festival as in this case, or any other, there are three fundamental facts that must be appreciated; the date of the festival, the legend surrounding the festival and the ‘iconic’ food with which that festival is affiliated. Having understood these three point compass to Chinese Festivals, let’s jump right into what the Mid-Autumn’s Festival is really all about.
Firstly, unlike the “Western” World, China has a dual calendar system the Christian ( BC/ AD) (阳历) calendar and the Chinese Lunar Calendar (农历). The traditional Lunar calendar is used to demarcate the dates of principally birthdays and festivals, but because of this, these dates, when using the Christian calendar, always fall on a different date every year.
The Mid-Autumn’s Festival is always; Lunar Calendar,15th day of the 8th Month or ( 丙申年 (猴年)丁酉月 辛丑日) Bing Shen year ( year of the Monkey) Ding you Month, Xin Chou day. This lunar date translates roughly into sometime in September, and for this year, it was yesterday, September 15th!
The Legend of Mid-Autumn’s Festival in part 2