It's one of the most widely celebrated Asian holidays second to the Lunar New Year.

By Nina Huang
September 14, 2016

Chinese, Vietnamese, and other Southeast Asians celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month each year. And this year, the Mid-Autumn Festival is September 15. Besides the Lunar New Year, some describe it as the second most important celebration of the year.

While everyone may have a different way of celebrating each year, as a whole, the festival brings families together to give thanks. This is a tradition that has been celebrated for thousands of years. The moon usually shines the brightest and is the roundest this day of the year to symbolize the unity of family. Families often gather to admire and worship the full moon together.

Like with most celebrations, the best part involves food. In Chinese culture and tradition, auspicious foods symbolize something significant. The Mid-Autumn Festival is no exception.

In Taiwan, people often give, receive, and eat mooncakes during the festival. Round mooncakes symbolize completeness and reunion so eating these during the celebration signifies the unity of family. They come in a variety of flavors nowadays, but the traditional flavors were sweet lotus paste or red bean with the savory egg yolk. While the pastries are an acquired taste, the meaning behind the snack and history of the festival is a good excuse to sneak in a little treat.

So on September 15 this year, be sure to devote some time gazing at the moon and munch on tasty mooncakes for some extra luck for the rest of the year!

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