Mid-Autumn Festival: A time to make many blessings under the same moon


21 September 2021

Mooncake mould from https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/45084492

Wishing a long life to share the graceful moonlight, though thousands of miles apart. 但愿人长久,千里共婵娟

The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated throughout the world: Zhōngqiū Jié 中秋节 (China), Chuseok 추석 (Korea), Tsukimi 月見 (Japan), Tết Trung Thu (Vietnam), Bon Om Touk (Cambodia) and Moon Festival (USA). As a harvest festival, it is a time for family and friends to come together around the full moon as a symbol of fertility.

In the Chinese festival,  Zhōngqiū Jié is associated with two distinct crafts.

The moon cake mould

Lao Sun, master mooncake mould carver, from https://www.takefoto.cn/viewnews-1577199.html

Mooncake mould is a handicraft with many shapes, most of them are round and square which are based on rich and unique patterns.

The mooncake is the symbol of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The significant meaning of mooncakes is not only about the reunion but also an attachment to the land of China.

There are many craft masters who are engaged in moon cake mould carving. They maintain the current development of traditional art under the assembly line. They have made a significant contribution to the innovation of mooncake patterns.

Chinese craft celebrity Xiaoxi has also demonstrated mooncake mould carving:

The round hand fan

The round hand fan has been incorporated into the traditional Chinese auspicious meaning since its birth. The earliest hand fans were all around, which symbolized the meaning of reunion and happiness.

Until the Northern Song Dynasty officially designated August 15 as the Mid-Autumn Festival, people began to associate the round hand fan with the Mid-Autumn Festival for two reasons. Firstly, both of them are related to the reunion. “Round” means “family reunion” in China. Secondly, the shape resembles a bright moon, and the context of the Mid-Autumn Festival is also connected with the moon.

Thanks to Peixuan Liu for compiling this story. 

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