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One of the most recognizable parts to the Mid-Autumn Festival, lanterns play an important part in the celebration (Photo provided via @themanilatimes on Instagram).

Here's what you need to know about Mid-Autumn Festival 2022

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival, is now upon us. The second most important holiday in China after the Lunar New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, is also celebrated in Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. Want to celebrate and learn about its history? Here’s a rundown of all things Mid-Autumn Festival:

The festival doesn’t always fall on the same date, but this year, the festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 10. The event gives thanks for the harvest of goods such as rice and fruit, and the celebrations send out positive energy to encourage plentiful harvests over the next year. According to China Highlights, the over 3,000-year celebration has also taken on the meaning of family gatherings, prayers for good health and happiness.

On the day of the festival, the moon is said to be the brightest, roundest and most beautiful; it has become a symbol for family reunion. The ceremony is almost comparable to Thanksgiving, as people get together for dinner and activities. Some of which include:

Watching the full moon

According to Travel Tomorrow, the moon reminds people of their hometowns and loved ones. Moon-watching dates back to the Zhou dynasty, around 500 B.C., and people held celebrations to welcome the full moon. Some may set up a table outside and sit together to watch the moon, or parents may tell their children about the legend of the Chang’e, the immortal woman who is the spirit of the moon.

Eating Moon Cakes

Mooncakes are a well-known traditional dish for the Mid-Autumn Festival. They can be traced back to the Southern Song dynasty, around 1127-1279 B.C. The pastries are small, baked and filled with savory or sweet fillings such as salted duck eggs, lotus seed paste, fruit, or meat. They are normally served with a cup of tea too. Typically round in shape, they represent the moon and are usually given as gifts to family and friends. The act of giving and sharing the cakes expresses love and best wishes.


Lanterns play an important role in the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration. Many adults and children make their own, carry them during moon gazing, hang them with candles or release them. It’s said that the higher the lantern is hung, the luckier the family will be. Lantern displays also are exhibited with various shapes, colors and lights for people to walk around and enjoy.

Lion Dances and Dragon Dances

Similar to Lunar New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival also has traditional lion and dragon dances. The event is important to Chinese culture and religion and acts as a way to ward off evil spirits. To make the animals sway, dancers hold onto poles and move with one another. Sometimes the dragon’s body also includes lights, candles and bright colors.

If you’re looking for an event to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, OU’s Chinese Language Student Association is hosting a get-together in Gordy Hall, room 113, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be paper lantern making, food and Chinese culture. 



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