Mid Autumn Festival

My informant usually celebrates this with family, and the date depends on the lunar calendar, but is typically in the autumn and is always the night of a full moon.

During this festival you typically gaze at and appreciate the moon and eat mooncakes. Mooncakes are typically sweet pastries but they can be savory with a variety of different fillings from date to a sweet nut paste to lotus paste and salted egg yolk.

This festival is celebrated because of a Chinese myth with many variations. The basic story is that a woman ended up drinking an immortality elixir that would have brought her to heaven, but her husband was still on earth. Because of this she chose to live on the moon instead so in the mid autumn festival, moon gazing is like how every year the husband would eat mooncakes and look for his wife on the moon. Due to this, the festival is generally a family activity.

The story itself can depend but in a few variations my informant is pretty sure that they were once gods, but the husband had to shoot down several suns (which were the children of the emperor of the sky) and as punishment the couple were turned into humans. However, they received the elixir at some point and wanted to split it to be together, but they had to wait until the full moon for the effect to work, but one month the husband was away and someone attacked the wife for the elixir so she drank it so the attacker wouldn’t get it.

This festival is based on a myth based on the cycles of the moon. Not only is the meaning based on the moon, but the food eaten is also moon based