24 Sep 2018
Mid-Autumn Festival in Asia
Due to historical and geographical reason, it is not surprised that Asian countries share similar cultures and even festivals. Mid- Autumn Festival is one of the commonly shared festival among several Asian Countries. Not only do Chinese celebrate this festival, People in other Asian countries like Japan, Singapore, Philippines, and etc., would also celebrate it.
Mid-Autumn Festival is an important festival in Hong Kong so it is a must to have dinner with family on that day. It is regarded as a cherishing moment to spend with our beloved ones. You can definitely feel the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong on that day, as all the people either rush back home or go to restaurant right after work. Of course, it is the very first activity for most people. Meeting friends, guessing lantern riddles, sharing mooncakes while chatting, and carrying paper lantern with kids are the options of next activity after dinner. If you decided to go out on that day, please get ready to squeeze through the crowd. People in Vietnam share the similar joy as well. It is a pleasant time for them, especially the children as they can play around with their friends, sharing mooncake and enjoy the joyful lion dance performance!
Yet, the picture is totally different in Seoul during Chuseok (Same as Mid- Autumn Festival). You can probably find nobody on the street, which is definitely impossible in Hong Kong nor in Vietnam.
Since many Korean prefer to live, study or work in Seoul, instead of their hometown, they can seldom meet their family. Unlike Hong Kong, Chuseok means a long holiday to them so that they can go back to their hometown and spend quality time with their family. I guess you can imagine how severe the traffic congestion could be and how empty Seoul is.
Although Chuseok can gather the family members, it is probably a nightmare for all the married Korean women as they have sheer amount of chores to do before, during, and after Chuseok, from housecleaning to preparing traditional ceremonial food. It is definitely a great challenge for women, especially when they cook. All the dishes, including all kinds of jeon (Korean pancake), have to look nice so as to show the respect to the deceased. Not only the married women, single ladies are also required to make the songpyeon as pretty as possible since it is believed that one who can make pretty songpyeon would meet a good-looking spouse.
While Korean ladies are hectic to produce tons of food, Thais are busy to visit Chinese temples to offer incense, candles and fruits to the Moon Goddess. Instead of moon-shaped cake, they usually offer a kind of peach-shaped cakes to the Buddha. Japanese also had a signature food for Mid- Autumn Festival. It is a special white-round glutinous rice cake. Yet, this tradition has long been faded, and most of the Japanese do not eat this cake any longer.
As today is Mid-Autumn Festival, no matter which country you are staying in, we wish you a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival. Enjoy the time with your beloved one!