Celebrating Full Moon: Maintaining Traditions of Mid-Autumn Festival


For Mid Autumn Festival, individuals also decorate their own colorful lanterns to light up the night. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

The bright, full moon lit up the night sky as individuals welcomed the Mid-Autumn Festival by eating traditional dishes and lighting lanterns on Sept. 24.

Usually occurring in late September or early October, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most prominent holidays in Asian culture. This holiday usually falls on the 15th day of the eighth month on the lunar calendar.

As families and friends are able to gather together again, the traditions and values of the Mid-Autumn festival can continue to be preserved and passed down.

“Preserving Asian holidays like the Mid-Autumn Festival is important because these holidays are a big part of our culture,” Senior Sarah Li said. “There is always a deeper meaning or story behind each festival.”

Like many Asian holidays, there are multiple myths and legends behind the Mid-Autumn Festival, such as the legend of Chang E and the Rabbit. As families are able to safely reunite for this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival, these traditions and legends are retained for future generations.

With individuals getting vaccinated against COVID-19, celebrations for Mid-Autumn Festival are much more flexible this year.

“To celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival this year, I ate mooncakes and had dinner with my family,” Li said.

Eating mooncakes and family reunion is an important aspect of Mid-Autumn Festival. Since the full moon represents unity, family and friend gatherings are the main way of celebrating and honoring this holiday.

Because of COVID-19 surges and the unavailability of vaccines last year, families turned to screens and devices to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. But this year, as more and more people are receiving vaccines, family and friends are able to unite once again in honor of this special day.

“I usually gather with my friends at the park to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. This year, we were able to gaze at the full moon together and light paper lanterns,” Li said.

Mooncakes, dinner and paper lanterns can once again be enjoyed in-person as vaccinated individuals can safely gather and spend time with each other.