Culture

A Snapshot of the Mid-Autumn Festival, 2021

Friends and readers of &ASIAN have shared a couple of quotes about one of the biggest festivals in the year for certain East and South East Asian communities. Take a look at what they have to say below!
A slideshow of photos from Ian Lai (below) of his family over the years. Scroll down to see the memory he shares with us. Photos courtesy of Ian Lai.
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A Snapshot of the Mid-Autumn Festival, 2021

Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in a multitude of forms by several East and South East Asian communities around the world. In China it’s sometimes known as the Moon or Mooncake Festival, in Korea their version of this autumn celebration is known as Chuseok, in Vietnam it is called Tết Trung Thu, in Japan Tsukimi, but to name a few. There are a wide variety of traditions, culinary delicacies and practices around this time of year from all over the East and South East Asian diaspora.

We asked readers and friends of &ASIAN to share what this time of year means to them, and if they had any memories or stories to share:

“Our grandfather was always the best cook in the kitchen and prepared food for both sides of the family with our grandmother. Before retiring he carried one of those massive woks as a chef in the revolution, but because he needed to make a living our family would eat the very last meals.”

- Ian Lai, architect, Cantonese/Chinese

“Since I don't really celebrate the festival myself anymore, I will put down two of my fave memories from when I was younger. One of them is when me, my mom and a bunch of my friends made mooncake together. It tasted horrible cuz we didn't put enough sugar but the process was super fun. Another one is when I was in primary school, my mom would take me to the playground next our old house at night on the day after Mid-Autumn festival to see the moon. Cuz there's this saying that the moon is the fullest on the 16th in Luna Calendar instead of the 15th. We would bring a blanket and bring bunch of snacks and mooncake too. It was pretty awesome.”

- &ASIAN staff member, S

“We never did anything extravagant, but I remember enjoying the moon cakes and getting to see my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.”

- Shin-Yi Tan, she/her, Chinese

“To me, Mid-Autumn means family and mooncakes. It sounds super basic but it’s a really wonderful and beautiful reason to be around family. To be able to eat good food and celebrate my culture openly when you don’t always have the chance to in the UK is always really great. Everyone knows about Chinese New Year, but Mid-Autumn is such a wonderful festival and I would love more people to openly understand it in the future.

I really like that through Korean culture more people are learning about Chuseok and when they look it up, they get to learn more about how other East and South East Asian cultures celebrate this time of year. Lots of European cultures celebrate Christmas and Easter in different ways and it’s always really good to show how other places in the world are not a monolith and celebrate their festivals in many different ways as well.”

- Anonymous

Happy Mid-Autumn festival wherever you are in the world from &ASIAN!