If you have been receiving box upon box of mooncakes, or yuebing, these past few weeks like us at WildChina, you are surely thrilled that Mid-Autumn Festival – the raison d’être for these egg-and-bean-filled confections – is right around the corner.
Zhongqiujie, as it is known in Chinese (Mid-Autumn Festival), is a celebration of the end of the summer harvesting season and the round, full moon of the autumnal equinox. During this holiday period (Wednesday, September 22 to Friday, September 24), family and friends gather to hang festive lanterns, admire the moon, and of course, dine on mooncakes.
How will you celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival? San Francisco’s Chinatown, the largest in the United States, puts on an annual Autumn Moon Festival Street Fair, which features food stalls, performances, and other events to commemorate the occasion. There are also other events and gatherings in local Chinatowns across the country – check your regional event listings in magazines and online for details.
For those in Asia, evening jubilation is a must. CNNGo has a comprehensive list of where to moon gaze in Hong Kong during the festival, whether it be a population metropolitan hangout or quiet nature spot. Our top choice for Beijing? Houhai Lake in Dongcheng district, where the water displays a dynamic, shimmering image of the moon’s reflection. That being said, any cafes or bars with rooftops will provide the right ambiance, and necessary view, for the Festival. People all over China will be spending outdoor time at parks, beaches, lakes, and other areas to celebrate, so find one nearest to you and come prepared with a few lanterns and yuebing.
Revelry aside, travelers to Beijing, and other crowded metropolitan areas, this holiday should be prepared for increased traffic this week before the 3-day break. In light of recent traffic issues plaguing the area, we suggest that you use public transportation and commute at off-peak hours.
Photo credit: Zhongqiu