The Moon Festival is a traditional celebration of the Autumn harvest and celebrated by the Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean communities.
According to Chinese legends a Moon Maiden appears on the 15th night of the 8th lunar moon in the year. Upon this magical occasion, children who make their wishes to the Moon Maiden will find their dreams come true. Chinese families get together, watch the beautiful full moon and eat moon cakes. Moon cakes are pastries with sweet fillings of red bean and lotus seed paste, and are exchanged as gifts.
For Vietnamese, Têt-Trung-Thu (tet-troong-thoo) is one of the most popular family holidays. Vietnamese families plan their activities around their children on this special day. In traditional Vietnamese society, parents work very hard preparing for the harvest and cannot spend much time with their children. To make up for lost time, parents would use the Mid-Autumn festival as an opportunity to spend time with their children. Têt-Trung-Thu activities are often centred around children and education. Parents buy lanterns for their children so that they can participate in a candlelit lantern procession at dawn. Lanterns represent brightness while the procession symbolises success in school.
During Ch’usok, Koreans begin the day with rites honouring their ancestors. Community activities include music, dance (like Kanggangsuwollae, an ancient circle dance), martial arts demonstrations, and food.
A Ch’usok favorite is Songp’yon, crescent-shaped rice cakes stuffed with sesame seeds, chestnut paste or beans. Like the Chinese Moon Festival, Ch’usok is a time to give thanks and celebrate with family and friends.