Thursday, 19 September 2013


“And Fall, with her yeller harvest moon and the hills growin’ brown and golden under a sinkin’ sun.” - Roy Bean

Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival in China. It takes its name from the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest. In 2013, this falls on September 19.

People in mainland China enjoy one day off on the festival which is usually connected with the weekend. In Hong Kong and Macau, people also enjoy one day off. However, it is not scheduled on the festival day, but the following day and it is usually not connected with the weekend. In Taiwan, the one-day holiday falls on the festival day.

Mooncakes (月饼; yuè bĭng) are a Chinese bakery product traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiujie). Mooncakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy at this time. They are offered between friends or on family gatherings while celebrating the festival. Typical mooncakes are round or rectangular pastries, measuring about 10 cm in diameter and 4–5 cm thick. This is the Cantonese mooncake, eaten in Southern China in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau. A rich thick filling usually made from red bean or lotus seed paste is surrounded by a thin (2–3 mm) crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs. Mooncakes are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea. Today, it is customary for businessmen and families to present them to their clients or relatives as presents, helping to fuel a demand for high-end mooncake styles.

Australia has a high proportion of Chinese-Australians who hold on to their culture and traditions. Organised by the Melbourne Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, the Melbourne Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, now in its 23rd year, is an annual multicultural celebration for all ages and is one of the most highly anticipated events in Melbourne.

The Festival showcases Asian culture, traditions and cuisines, as well as encouraging communities from all across Melbourne to join in celebrating the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, traditionally a time for family and friends to gather and admire the mid-autumn harvest moon. It also promotes community harmony, strengthening the understanding of Asian - Australian culture.

The event will be celebrated this weekend in many Melbourne locales. In Boxhill, with its high numbers of Chinese Australians, the event will be celebrated with many varied activities. With over 60 marquees, the event will include various international cuisines, arts and crafts, lantern decorating, as well as a full entertainment program - including the Opening Ceremony, lion dancing, live performances, games, competitions and SBS broadcasting van.