Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival 2022 Celebrations at World Museum, Liverpool

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LCI Volunteers Ms Xiaoxiao Huo and Ms Yuqiao Cai performing traditional Chinese music and dance at Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival is one of China’s most important traditions. Chinese people believed the seventh, eighth, and ninth lunar months belonged to autumn, so mid-autumn always falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, usually in September or October on the solar calendar.

Farmers finish gathering their crops and bringing in fruits from the orchards in mid-autumn, overwhelmed with joy when they have a bumper harvest and, at the same time, feel relaxed after a year of hard work. So, the 15th day of the eighth lunar month has gradually evolved into a widely held celebration for all Chinese people.

When night falls, the land is bathed in silver moonlight. Families set up tables in their courtyards or sit together on their balconies, chatting and sharing offerings to the moon. Together, they enjoy the enchanting spell of the night. They recall beautiful legends about the moon; among which, the most popular tells of how the goddess, named Chang’e, first ascended to the moon.

For thousands of years, Chinese people have associated the vicissitudes of life, such as joy and sorrow, departing and reunion, with the changes of the moon as it waxes and wanes. Because the full moon is round and symbolizes reunion, Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the festival of reunion. All family members try to come together on this special day. Those who cannot return home watch the bright moonlight and feel deep longing for their loved ones.

People in different parts of China celebrate Mid-Autunm Festival in different ways, however one traditional custom has remained and is shared by all Chinese people, which is eating a festive specialty: cakes shaped like the moon.

Chinese moon shaped cake with decorative writing

Traditional Chinese Mooncake (Image by Renato Marques)

These round mooncakes, about three inches in diameter and one and a half inches in thickness, resemble Western fruitcakes in taste and consistency. These cakes are made with melon seeds, lotus seeds, almonds, minced meats, bean paste, orange peels and lard. A golden yolk from a salted duck egg is placed at the center of each cake, and the golden-brown crust is decorated with symbols of the festival.

The University of Liverpool Confucius Institute (LCI) will bring Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations to Liverpool again this year, hosting traditional games, crafts, music and dancing at the World Museum, Liverpool, on Saturday 10 September between 10am and 4pm. As Mid-Autumn Festival is a special time for family, the activities will be suitable for all ages and free of charge. The LCI Team are looking forward to celebrating this special time with the people of Liverpool and the Merseyside Region.

Full event details at World Museum, Liverpool

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