Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

The festival to unite, celebrate, and share good memories together.

Autumn, tea, and mooncakes!

As the summer lights dim and the leaves turn to magical colours, the Mid-Autumn Festival in Canada is all set to raise your spirits high! According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the festivities begin on the 15th day of September or early October as per the Gregorian calendar. Also recognized as the Mooncake festival, this event will be celebrated on 21st September 2021, falling on Tuesday. Being the second most awaited holiday after Chinese New Year, the festival is celebrated with similar enthusiasm in Canada too.

Many tales are associated with the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Fairy Maiden Changˈe resides on the moon with a cute little bunny. There are beliefs that those who worship the moon on this day, goddess Changˈe grants their wishes. People set up their table under the bright moonlight and decorate it well with mooncakes, fruits, snacks, sweets, and candles. Families and friends unite together to celebrate the festival.

Interesting Facts about Mid-Autumn Festival:

Mooncakes are one of the specialties for the Mid-Autumn festival. Their various shapes and sweet flavors are just perfect as treats and desserts for the feast. Families cut the mooncake together and exchange greetings. Some exclusive fillings of mooncake cookies include fruit, egg yolk, meat, nuts, and more.

Mooncakes are a must-eat and the highlight of Mid-Autumn Festival too. The other top delicacies include Lotus roots, pumpkin, river snails, hairy crab, duck, Taro, watermelon, Pomelo, Buffalo nut, amongst other eateries.

Did you know that the round shape of the Mooncake symbolizes “unity” or “reunion” and best wishes?

Fun-facts and attractions of the Mooncake festival:

  • Kids gather and enthusiastically try to find the shape of Changˈe on the moon.
  • Parents host kid parties and share the stories of the legend of Change’s flying to the Moon.
  • Participate in the Mid-Autumn Festival activities. Families get together to bake and taste the various delicious mooncake flavors.
  • Chinese families in Canada worship the moon and praise its beauty. They also express thanksgiving with their friends and families for the reunion, similar to the North American Thanksgiving.
  • Streets, trees, and houses are well-decorated with mid-autumn lanterns of different shapes.
  • People also write good wishes and quotes wishing good health, harvest, education, marriage, love, and peace on the lanterns.
  • Lanterns are also flown in the sky wishing for dreams to come true.
  • Voila! You also get to see dragon dances.
  • Other than the traditional ways of celebrations, those who are distant, exchange ecards and online gifts for the celebrations. In short, it is the festival to unite, celebrate, and share good memories together.

The most famous legend concerning the Mid-Autumn Festival:

We shared a glimpse of the belief. The detailed story of the legend of Changˈe goes like this…

Hou Yi was a brilliant archer by profession and the husband of Changˈe. As per the tale, long ago the 10 suns of space burnt all the plants and greenery on Earth. The living beings were dying. One fine day, Hou Yi picked his bow and arrows targeting the sun and shot nine of them. Life on earth was saved.

Hou Yi was gifted a bottle of elixir by the Queen Mother of the West, which was meant for immortality. The bottle was only for one person and so he asked his wife Changˈe to keep it safe with her as he wished to stay with Changˈe longer.

Hou Yi became prominent due to his success in winning over the 9 suns and got many followers as well as students. One of the students of Hou Yi, Pang Meng did not share good intentions as he had an eye on the bottle of elixir. Hou Yi went hunting one day with his students. Pang Meng excused himself from hunting with the excuse of his deliberate illness. He went to Hou Yi’s house and forced Changˈe for the bottle of elixir.

Changˈe knew she could not fight back Pang Meng and to stop Pang from his ill intentions, she drank the bottle of elixir herself. The potion she drank made Changˈe fly higher until she reached the moon. Hou Yi was very upset to know of this and since then, he prepared the food under the moonlight hoping for Changˈe’s return. The same tradition is being followed today by people who worship the moon (goddess Changˈe).

The lady in the moon – This is one of the most prominent tales associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival. There are many others that you will hear from the believers of the festival.

Where is the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated outside China?

Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in a grand manner in Canada, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia and several other places. Some places do not have a public holiday but that does not lessen the spirit of celebrations in people. You cannot think of sitting back home during these three days in Canada; save a good amount of time to explore the Canadian Mid-Autumn Festival 2021 activities with loved ones.

Experience thousands of lanterns in the magical Canadian sky:

How do people in Canada celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival? Different Canadian Chinese communities join together on this auspicious occasion to make it memorable every year. 21st September 2021 too shall see lots of colorful lanterns in the sky, traditional meals being cooked along, and of course the lip-smacking mooncakes!

There is so much to know and experience the festivities. You don’t have to visit China to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival 2021; Canada celebrates it in a similar fashion too!

There are several places to find Mooncakes in Toronto this year for your Mid-Autumn Festival 2021 celebration. Few places include – Bake Code, 7 Cake Boutique, TWG Canada, Savorology Artisan Bakery.

If you are in British Columbia, you can also visit the Moon Festival – Lantern Celebration 2021 at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre. The Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre is also celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival September 18-26th. The event will feature Lantern Making Workshop, Mooncake Making Class, Storytelling and Artistic Interpretation Contest and more!

What are you waiting for? Talk your Mooncake out!

Walnut and dates? Pure White Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake? Or Lava Salted Yolk Custard Mooncake? Or the traditional mooncakes? Fancy another flavour?

At My Canadian Life we celebrate, share and socialize the moments that matter in our lives, as we celebrate the Canadian immigrant journey.