Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival resources for children
- Available on request
The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节; Zhōngqiū Jié) is a traditional event observed in East and Southeast Asia.
The Mid-Autumn Festival has a long history with Chinese people celebrating the harvest during the autumn full moon since the Shang dynasty (1600-1046 BCE). It has officially been a national holiday in China since 2008 and is second-most important after the Chinese New Year. Being an agrarian society in the past, the festival was originally a time for the people of China to enjoy harvests of rice and wheat, along with food offerings made in honour of the moon. Today, it is an occasion for families to get together, and as it is believed that the moon is at its brightest and roundest on Mid-Autumn Day, these are perfect conditions for ‘moon worship’ and harmonious reunion.
One of the best-known myths about the Mid-Autumn Festival is of Chang E, the Chinese goddess of the moon. The story goes that Chang E‘s husband, the great archer Hou Yi, had been gifted an elixir of life as a reward for shooting down nine of the ten suns that had been causing such extreme heat and danger to the population. On August 15 of the Chinese lunar calendar, whilst Yi was away from home, his apprentice Peng Meng tried to force Chang E to give him the elixir. Chang E refused and instead swallowed it herself. When Yi came back later in the day, he found that Chang E had flown to the moon, all alone. Devastated, he set about offering sacrifices to the moon to remember his wife, and this is said to be the reason people make mooncakes and offerings on the 15th day of the eighth month.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month according to the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2021, the festival lands on Tuesday 21 September and to celebrate, Cardiff Confucius Institute’s tutors have prepared some online resources for teachers to use in class, or for children to enjoy at home:
- Find out about the customs of the Mid-Autumn Festival with this video. Teachers can also access the slides used in the video.
- Make your own Mid-Autumn Festival lantern
- Mooncakes, a rich pastry typically filled with sweet bean, salted egg yolk, meat or nuts, are traditionally eaten during this festival. The roundness of the moon cakes are symbols of family reunion and togetherness. Learn how to make Moon Cakes:
- Utilise the British Council resource pack for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Click here to access the resources above.
Find out more
For more information about the activity, please visit our website.
About the organiser
This activity is organised by Cardiff Confucius Institute. Contact Victoria Ucele at email@example.com for more details.
Teacher supervision is required.