Everything you need to know
The Moon Festival also called the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, is one of the most important traditional holidays celebrated by Chinese people. It always falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the year according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
Every year on Mid-Autumn day, people get together to celebrate peace, harmony, and friendship. The Moon festival is a day for families and friends to wish each other good luck, good health not to mention to enjoy mooncakes with a cup of hot tea (or something stronger!). If you are alone in Australia or away from family, don’t worry, you can still enjoy this uplifting festival; the streets will be bustling and you’ll be able to make some new friends.
Over 10 Asian countries celebrate this festival. What makes it so special?
The Mid-Autumn festival originated in China. Like every other traditional Chinese festival, the Festival’s origins come from stories passed down through the generations. It revolves around three folk tales and an ancient moon worshipping habit.
The first tale is about the hero Hou Yi, who shot down nine suns with arrows to save people from suffering and his beautiful wife Chang’e. Her life was threatened and she was tricked into drinking a heavenly elixir and was exiled to the moon leaving her husband behind. People worship Chang’e as a goddess and pay respect to the couple’s lost love.
The second tale tells of a mortal lazy man wanting to become immortal, his name is Wu Gang. The Gods challenged him to cut down a cherry bay tree on the moon and in return win immortality. Legend has it that if you look at the full moon you can still see his shadow trying to cut the tree down.
The last tale is about a rabbit with a big heart. There was a rabbit willing to sacrifice itself to save an old man’s life, and this was God in disguise. Moved by the rabbit’s selfless deed, God granted it a life in heaven (the moon).
China’s annual mid-Autumn festival, a celebration of the autumn harvest, is held throughout the country where people celebrate by eating mooncakes. As central to the mid-Autumn festival as turkey is to Thanksgiving, mooncakes are found everywhere in China and are even sold in McDonald’s and Starbucks.
How The Chinese Moon Festival is celebrated in Australia
Chinese Moon Festival is celebrated with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm across China, but it might also interest you to know that countries across the globe celebrate it with the same amount of gusto and you won’t fail to notice when the day arrives in Australia
The festival is considered to be one of the biggest and brightest Asian festivals celebrated in Australia. As well as mooncakes available in abundance here, celebrations include traditions such burning incense, performances of lion and dragon dances and releasing of lanterns. Friends and family get together and watch the moon on the night of the Moon Festival.
Most families will have dinner together. A saying goes: ‘The moon in your hometown is almost always the brightest and roundest’ and that is why many people who live far away from their homes want to have a family reunion during the festival.
The Moon festival is celebrated all over Australia and loads of local communities have started organising Moon Festival events, and some of the more popular ones are Crown, Box Hill, Melbourne’s Chinatown, Footscray, and Dandenong, as well as in other capital cities across the country.
If you work with Asian colleagues, don’t forget to wish them a happy moon festival!
Chin Communications Presents – Chinese Cultural Consultation
Like the Moon Festival with its deep culture and historic origins, knowing how to successfully navigate Chinese culture is the key to success in relationships and business. Cultural understanding is just as important as understanding the language. The risk of cultural gaffes can be extremely costly and embarrassing. Chin can help:
- Get your communications right; with Chinese partners, employees or government officials. This includes written language, verbal and even non-verbal communication. Remember, in China courtesy is far more important than clarity.
- China Branding: Product or company Chinese brand names, colours, logo, publicity materials, and Chinese social media should respect and reflect what is positive for the Chinese.
- Translation: Business cards, contracts, brochures, websites. Advice on wording, cultural and design issues to deliver a finalised version appropriate to your needs, your audience, and ready to use.
- Protocol and best practice for hosting Chinese partners and business delegations or for visits to China. We provide advice on business and social situations of all kinds (formal and informal business meetings, protocol for extending and accepting invitations, dining and social events, appropriate gift giving and receiving, etc).
- Maintain key relationships by building trust and mutual understanding.
Happy Moon Festival (Zhongqiu kuai le!)