The Chinese Moon Festival

Contextual Information

Time of Interview: April 24th, 2012, 11:52 a.m.

Location of Interview: Interior of EVK Dining Hall

Informant’s First Encounter w/ Folklore: Since birth. It is a family tradition.

When Folklore is Performed: On the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar.



“Chinese Moon Festival is one of the biggest holidays of the lunar calendar and basically the premise is, um, it’s a time of harvest, but also doubles as, like, a time when the family get’s together. It’s also called the Mid-Autumn festival and that’s where the harvest comes in, but the moon festival always falls upon the full moon. The idea is that wherever you are, you always see the same moon as your family and that’s when you look up and, um, reminisce over your family. One of the foods that we eat is the moon cake, and inside is a salted egg yoke which symbolizes the moon.”


My informant was very excited to relay this information to me. While the excitement may have also stemmed from the food we were about to eat, it was clear that this tradition was very special to him. It was not difficult for me to see why. While we do have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, rare is the holiday that celebrates the entire family. However, the Chinese Moon seems to commemorate not just the immediate family, but a world family united under one moon. Most who celebrate the lunar calendar return home to their family. For individuals whose families are simply too far away, such as my informant, it serves as a sacred and endearing ritual for him.