The Harvest Moon Festival, also known as Chuseok or Hangawi, takes place in South Korea on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, which falls on September 10 this year. Chuseok celebrations involve spending time with family and indulging in traditional Korean cuisine. It is one of the most significant festivals in South Korea each year. Chuseok is essentially the Korean version of Thanksgiving, which explains why the festivities resemble those of Thanksgiving.
Korea was formerly a farming nation. They would worship the full moon around harvest time and express gratitude for a bountiful harvest. The origins of Chuseok can be found in an old practice known as “charge,” in which the women of each house would create a table full of freshly harvested rice and fruit.
However, Korean folklore presents a different narrative. One such myth states that Chuseok originated from a weaving contest between two Silla dynasty princesses. The objective given to the two royals was to weave cloth; the one who could do it the fastest would win. The losing team would also be required to cook a feast for the winner. This competition lasted for an entire month, coming to a close on the 15th day of the lunar calendar’s eighth month with a full moon. According to the legend, several archery and martial arts competitions were also held as a part of the festivities, which explains how this custom became a feature of the celebrations.
Another legend describes how Silla overcame its rival nation, Baekje. Strange marks on a turtle that the Baekje monarch discovered were interpreted by his advisors to indicate “Baekje full moon, Silla half-moon.” They understood this to imply that the Baekje kingdom would fall and the Silla dynasty would rise, and as a result, celebrations still place a high value on the moon. However, some academics contend that Chuseok originated in ancient shamanic practices that emphasized the harvest moon and its adoration.
Moon Festival Foods & Festivities
One of the oldest customs for celebrating the holiday is still eating moon cakes (picture on the left). Red foods are also common for a Chinese Mid-Autumn feast since they bring luck. Particular favorites include apples, pomegranates, roasted chestnuts, lobster, and salmon.
Of course, with today being the harvest festival, there are also a ton of fresh harvest veggies, including pumpkins, squash, and grapes, available at markets. Around the same time, several countries celebrate similar harvest holidays with their own distinctive customs: Korea during the three-day Chuseok festival, Vietnam during Tet Trung Thu, and Japan during the Tsukimi festival.
Fun Facts about the Moon Festival
- Family reunions take place over the contemporary moon festival weekend, which is one of the busiest journey times of the year, comparable only to Chinese New Year when massive traffic bottlenecks are caused by drivers.
- Snuggling and moongazing are encouraged by the full moon and the chilly weather. In some regions of China, parents still plan to set up blind dates during the holiday for their unmarried adult children.
- During the festival, nightly boat excursions in Beijing to view the moon are incredibly popular and must be reserved months in advance.
- The most common and least expensive moon cakes to purchase in China are those with sweet bean filling and fruit flavors, however, a premium gift box of “gourmet” mooncakes can cost thousands of yuan (about $400 USD).
Chinese Moon Festival around the Web
Discover a wealth of seasonal food and recipe ideas, festive e-mail greetings, and fascinating folklore, stories, music, poems, and legends on the Web as you learn more about moon festival celebrations in the United States and around the world.
Harvest Moon Festival 2022 Celebration
With food sacrifices performed in honor of the moon, the festival was a time to celebrate the successful harvest of rice and wheat. The Moon, a symbol of peace and unity, is still a reason for outdoor gatherings of friends and family where mooncakes are served. Governmental offices, banks, and schools frequently close early during a solar eclipse year to take advantage of the longer celestial celebration it brings. The festival is marked by a variety of cultural or regional traditions, including:
- burning incense in honor of gods such as Change.
- Dragon and lion dance performances are primarily done in southern China.
Happy Mid-Autumn Messages in English:
- “May the round moon brings in your life a brighter, happier, and more successful future….. Sending best wishes on the auspicious occasion of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival…”
- “May the brightness of the moon and stars fill your life with positivity and happiness…. Wishing you a blissful and cheerful Mid-Autumn Moon Festival…”
- “I wish that you celebrate this auspicious time of the year with your family and friends and are blessed with a successful year ahead….. Wishing you Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival…”
- “When the moon is round in autumn, it is a signal that it is the time to reunite, enjoy the festivities and happy times with loved ones…. Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival 2022…”
Chinese mid-Autumn Festival Quotes 2022
- “It is time to thank God for a good harvest and seek his blessings for another prosperous year…. Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival 2022…”
- “May this festival of harvest bring eternal joy and happiness in our lives….. Sending warm wishes on Mid-Autumn Moon Festival 2022…”
- “When the moon is a perfect round when it is mid of autumn, it calls for celebration with hopes for happier days ahead…. Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival 2022…”
- “May each and every day of your life is as happy and as bright as the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival…. Best wishes on this special occasion…”