Today is the Chinese Mid-Autum Festival, sometimes also called the Moon Festival.
It falls on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar callendar. At this time the moon is believed to be its roundest and brightest of the whole year. It is also the harvest moon as at this time, one of the main food resources, rice, is supposed to mature and be harvested.
The round and bright moon symbolises togetherness and reunion in Chinese culture. Family comes together to celebrate the harvest and worship their gods to show their gratitude.
One of the must-eat foods during this festival is Mooncake.
There are various different types of mooncakes according to the region they are coming from, with different types of fillings inside them.
Mooncakes are traditionally Chinese pastries consisting of a thin, tender skin containing a sweet, dense filling. Mooncakes used to be made at home, but nowadays people tend to buy them at market places and food stalls.
The traditional fillings include lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste, and egg yolk; however, mooncakes with modern flavors, such as ice cream and chocolate, have appeared in recent years.
Mooncakes are always round in shape, like the harvest moon in the nightsky.
In Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness. A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family.
To eat mooncake is therefore a deeply rooted cultural tradition. It’s either eaten together with family and friends, or presented to relatives or friends to express love and best wishes.
If you want to get a taste of these traditions and celebrate the Mid-Autum Festival with the UK Shaolin Temple, please come along on Saturday 7th October from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. There will be a small ceremony in the Buddha Hall and a Chinese film to be watched afterwards.
Please bring vegetarian donations of food to add to the feast.
We are looking forward to see you on Saturday.