Festival
Rituals, festivals, holidays

中秋节 (Mid-Autumn Festival)

Informant: Hannah is an 18-year-old student, born and raised in China before moving to Los Angeles for college. Her parents now live in Japan, but they return to China to visit family during the summer.

Main Piece: “For the Mid-Autumn Festival, we all eat mooncakes and stare at the moon and think of our family. The circle, like the full circle, symbolizes wholeness. When you’re staring at the moon, you’re all thinking about the same moon, so you can send your love to each other.”

Background Information about the Performance: The informant still performs this tradition, even though she now lives in the US. She considers it important since she lives so far away from her family. She learned it from her parents and grandparents when living in China.

Context of Performance: The festival occurs in the middle of autumn on the lunar calendar, around late September to early October.

Thoughts: This festival reminds me of other harvest festivals around the world, such as Holi or Thanksgiving, in which the intent is to promote togetherness.

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