Autumn Moon Festival

It’s Friday the 13th and a harvest Moon tonight ! Also starts the Autumn Moon Festival

Its special to me because it was one of the first holiday my husband and his family introduced to me. And I try to share with my friends and family even though we are not close to visit. Lisa


Ancient Chinese emperors worshiped the harvest moon in autumn, as they believed that the practice would bring them a plentiful harvest the following year.

The custom of offering sacrifices to the moon originated from worshiping the moon goddess, and it was recorded that kings offered sacrifices to the moon in fall during the Western Zhou Dynasty (1045 – 770 BC).

Modern times

  • shaving Dinner together/family coming together
  • eating Moon cakes
  • Looking at the Moon
  • Making Lantern (later)
  • giving small gift

 Chang’e Flying to the Moon (fable)

The most famous Mid-Autumn Festival story is Chang’e flying to the moon. The story goes like this…

Long, long ago, there were ten suns in the sky. The suns burnt all the plants and people were dying on Earth, until one day excellent archer Hou Yi used his bow and arrows to shoot down nine of the suns. Earth was saved, and people flocked to learn archery from Hou Yi.

chang'e and the moon story

The Western Queen Mother gave Hou Yi a bottle of elixir that could make one person immortal. Although Hou Yi did want to become immortal, he wanted to stay with his wife Chang’e more. Therefore, he just kept it at home.

Pang Meng, one of his students, tried to seize the elixir when Hou Yi wasn’t at home. Faced with greedy Pang Meng, Chang’e decided to drink the elixir. It made her fly to the moon where she would stay forever.

To remember her and pray to her, Hou Yi and others started to worship the moon with many offerings.

Chang’e’s image usually appears on Mid-Autumn Festival pictures. Children in China are told that Chang’e is still living on the moon. And on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, when the moon is bright, children try their best to find the shape of Chang’e on the moon.

Moon Cakes recipe:

The tradition of eating mooncakes during the festival began in the Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1368), a dynasty ruled by the Mongols.

  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup salted butter (softened, not melted)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red bean paste (can be purchased at an Asian grocery store in a can)

Materials needed:

  • Moon cake molds. ( you can purchase on line on Amazon )


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° Celsius)
  2. Combine the butter, sugar and 1 egg yolk and stir.
  3. Mix in the flour until it turns into dough.
  4. Create one large dough ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
  5. Put the dough ball in the refrigerator for half an hour which will help the dough from becoming too flaky.
  6. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and make into 4 small balls in the palms of your hands. Make a hole with your thumb in the center of each mooncake and fill with a small teaspoon of red bean paste. 
  7. Wrap the dough over the paste and put in the mooncake mold and press it out. and unmold to a lightly greased sheet pan. The last step is to brush each cake with another beaten egg yolk for that golden-brown crust. 
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes and check to make sure the edges are slightly brown.

It’s a great recipe that I tried with my son but I confess just buy them at your local Asian market ..Lisa

Wish you and your family a happy Mid-Autumn Festival
Zhù nǐ hé nǐ de jiārén zhōngqiū kuàilè

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