[Asian Tour] Exploring Mid-Autumn Festival Customs in Each Country

The Mid-Autumn Festival is considered a major holiday in most Asian countries. Different cultures have different ways of celebrating this festive event. Let’s take a look at the different customs of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival in Asian countries.

Mid Autumn Festival in Vietnam
Mid Autumn Festival in Vietnam

China

Without a doubt, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important festivals in China. On this day, families gather to enjoy mooncakes and pomelo, typical autumn fruits, while gazing at the bright full moon. Moreover, the customs of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival in this Asian country are also diverse and rich. People participate in activities such as solving lantern puzzles, releasing sky lanterns, drinking fragrant wine, and watching the tides come and go in coastal areas.

Mid Autumn Fesival in China
Mid Autumn Fesival in China

Japan

Surprisingly,  Japanese people also celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on the 15th day of the lunar calendar. In this land of the rising sun, the Mid-Autumn harvest moon is called ‘Tsukimi’ or ‘Otsukimi’. One of the customs of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival in this Asian country is the tradition of holding moon-viewing parties. Locals and Japanese tourists flock here to eat the famous Tsukimi dumplings and enjoy the beauty of the full moon.

Mid Autumn Festival in Japan
Mid Autumn Festival in Japan

Also, on the night of the festival, moon-viewing dumplings, fruit, sake, and sweet potatoes are offered to the moon to pray for a bountiful harvest.

Especially during the Mid-Autumn Festival in Japan, every house is decorated with silver pampas grass. It is considered a symbol of the moon god who guards the harvest season, just as the people of the Land of the Rising Sun believe in pampas grass. You can ward off evil spirits.

Korea

In fact, the Korean Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as Chuseok or Thanksgiving, is an important event for the country. On this important holiday, locals take the opportunity to enjoy their three-day vacation and return to their hometowns or visit family. During family reunions, people enjoy traditional foods such as Songpyeon rice cakes, Hangwa candies, sweet potato soup, and alcohol made from rice. These customs are also characteristic of the Mid-Autumn Festival in other Asian countries.

Mid Autumn Festival in Korea
Mid Autumn Festival in Korea

Especially during the festival period,  attractive discounts and special offers are offered to attract gift seekers. Common gifts include essentials such as cooking oils, kitchen utensils, organic foods, and health products including ginseng.

Mooncake Chuseok in Korea
Mooncake Chuseok in Korea

Thailand

According to Land of the Golden Temple legend, on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, her eight hermits visited the Moon Palace to deliver peach-shaped cakes and birthday wishes to the Moon Goddess. Therefore, the peach-shaped cake is one of the signature foods of the Thai Mid-Autumn Festival. 

Mid Autumn Festival in Thailand
Mid Autumn Festival in Thailand

Thai families also gather on this day to worship the moon, enjoy delicious food, and exchange congratulations. Locals also eat mooncakes and fruits, especially round grapefruits, and give them to family and friends.

According to the Urban Thai newspaper, the full moon party at this time of year is also popular with foreign tourists.

Philippines

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese cities and regions in the Philippines are decorated with lanterns and banners. In addition, you can find a wide variety of mooncakes in most stores here.

Mid Autumn Festival in Philippines
Mid Autumn Festival in Philippines

The Mid-Autumn Festival is also an important holiday for the country, so the celebrations are lively. The festival includes a dragon dance parade, a traditional Chinese dress procession, a lantern parade and an elegant car display. 

Vietnam

In Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Festival is of great cultural importance and is known as Tet Trung Thu. It’s a great opportunity for children and families. One of the most distinctive customs is the lion dance, in which performers dressed in lion costumes imitate the lion’s motion to bring good luck and luck.

Mid Autumn Festival in Vietnam
Mid Autumn Festival in Vietnam

During Tet Trung Thu, children parade through the streets carrying colorful lanterns of all shapes and sizes. These lanterns are often made of paper or bamboo and have intricate designs. The Lantern Parade is a symbol of joy and happiness for children.

As in other Asian countries, mooncakes are a festive staple in Vietnam. Vietnamese mooncakes come in a variety of flavors, including lotus seeds, green beans, and mixed nuts, and are often wrapped in ornate packaging.

Mooncake is called "Banh Trung Thu" in Vietnam
Mooncake is called “Banh Trung Thu” in Vietnam

Besides mooncakes, another popular treat during Tet Trung Thu traditional sweets is called “Banh Trung Thu” or “moon cake candy”. A small, round, and colorful mooncake-shaped glutinous rice candy.

Taiwan

In Taiwan, the Mid-Autumn Festival is known as the Moon Festival or Zhongqiu Festival. It is a time for families to gather and celebrate the abundance of the harvest season. One of the most significant customs during this festival is the lighting of sky lanterns.

Mid Autumn Festival in Taiwan
Mid Autumn Festival in Taiwan

Sky lanterns, also known as Kongming lanterns, are small hot air balloons made of paper and lit from within. They are released into the night sky, carrying people’s wishes and prayers. The sight of hundreds of glowing lanterns floating in the air is truly mesmerizing.

Taiwanese people also indulge in mooncakes during the festival, and there are various regional flavors and styles to choose from. Pineapple cakes, a popular Taiwanese pastry, are also commonly exchanged as gifts during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Malaysia

In Malaysia, the Mid-Autumn Festival is known as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival. The celebration revolves around family reunions and the appreciation of the moon’s beauty. During this festival, lantern processions are held in many cities and towns, with people of all ages carrying brightly lit lanterns through the streets. It creates a vibrant and colorful atmosphere, accompanied by traditional music and performances.

Mid Autumn Festival in Malaysia
Mid Autumn Festival in Malaysia

Mooncakes with various fillings, such as lotus paste, red bean, or salted egg yolks, are enjoyed during the festival. Malaysian mooncakes often have a unique twist, incorporating local flavors like durian or pandan.

Another highlight of the Malaysian Mid-Autumn Festival is the lion dance performances. These acrobatic and energetic dances are believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.

Indonesia

In Indonesia, the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated by the Chinese Indonesian community. The festival is known as the Mooncake Festival or Cap Go Meh. During the festival, lanterns are displayed in homes and public spaces, adding a festive ambiance to the surroundings. Lion and dragon dance performances are also commonly seen, captivating both locals and tourists.

Mooncakes are a popular treat during the festival, and various types of mooncakes with different fillings are available. Families come together to enjoy mooncakes, fruits, and other traditional delicacies.

Mid Autumn Festival in Indonesia
Mid Autumn Festival in Indonesia

The Cap Go Meh celebration often culminates in a grand parade, featuring vibrant costumes, music, and dance performances. It is a time for the Chinese Indonesian community to showcase their cultural heritage and celebrate their identity.

Each country has its own unique customs and traditions when it comes to celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival. Despite the cultural variations, the festival serves as a time for families and communities to come together, express gratitude, and appreciate the beauty of the moon.

Let’s travel Vietnam and find more information details below

Enjoy your moment – Fun with vacation – Back inner soul

W: letsdiscovervietnam.com

E: letsdiscovervietnam@gmail.com

L: HCMC, Vietnam

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