To many Chinese, Mid Autumn Festival (or Mooncake Festival) is the next most important celebration after Chinese New Year.
Held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Calendar at the time of the full moon, it marks the end of the Autumn harvest, and a time to give thanks to Change-Er, the Moon Goddess of Immortality. This year, Mid Autumn Festival falls on Sept 29th, 2023.
On this brightest of nights, the Moon Goddess is believed to make her annual appearance, bestowing blessings of a good harvest, peace, safety and love. The full moon symbolizes prosperity, completion and togetherness. Family members travel home from far and wide to gather for a meal and spend the evening looking at the full moon (shang yue), lighting paper lanterns and eating mooncakes.
Women set up outdoor altars to offer food and incense, and young singles, inspired by the love story of the Mood Goddess, head out to mingle in the hope she brings them the match of their dreams.
Here are some great ways to boost your good fortune this Mid Autumn Festival.
1. USE “ROUND” or “CIRCULAR” shaped offerings
When praying to the Moon Goddess, make sure your altar faces the moon and that your offerings are round-shaped. This encapsulates the Chinese saying “Zhu Shi Yuan Man”, which signifies everything ending on a good note. Round fruits with auspicious meanings such as apples (Ping Ping An An) and oranges (Da Ji Da Li) are especially popular. Don’t forget to include the most crucial offering, the mooncake! Arrange in sets of 13 to represent the 13 months of the Lunar Calendar.
2. GOOD TIME FOR SOCIALIZING
Mid Autumn is a particularly auspicious day for social networking. The Chinese go visiting bearing mooncakes as gifts to promote closer ties and greater harmony. You can strengthen affinities with your friends and build rapport with the people you work with by celebrating the festivities together. Who knows, you may even meet a potential life partner in the process!
3. AUSPICIOUS DAY TO PRAY TO YUE LAO
Temples of the God of Love and Marriage, Yue Lao, often see throngs of single bachelors and bachelorettes offering incense and prayers. This God of Love is often depicted with a red silk thread that he uses to “tie” potential couples together. Those in search of a soul mate can invoke his blessings, for him to “connect you to a good partner”. How? Obtain a red string by making an offering of an “angpau” (red packet with money inside) to the temple, then say a prayer with your personal details like name, date of birth, address and wishes. After praying, wear the red string around your wrist to signify your wish.
4. DISPLAY FRESH PLANTS & FLOWERS
Bring auspicious chi into the home by showcasing your loveliest potted flower arrangements. Avoid thorny plants such as roses and cacti, as this will shun away Nobleman Benefactor (Gui Ren) luck. Those lucky enough to have a garden should ensure it is properly maintained, ready to welcome the bright night sky of Mid Autumn.
5. CLEAN UP THE HOME
Make sure your home is clean and tidy, especially your most used spaces like your living and dining room, where you spend a lot of time. Fix or replace anything that is not working.
6. ORGANISE A PARTY
Moon Festival is often celebrated with family (direct and extended) but can also be celebrated with friends. When you create a lot of yang chi during the night of this Full Moon, you activate its energies, for a good harvest (which in today’s world also means a stable income), friendship and of course, for love!