Chinese culture is influential across the globe, especially here in the Philippines. And once the Chinese lunar calendar falls on the 15th day of the eighth month, The Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiujie (中秋节) will be celebrated by the Filipino-Chinese community. It will start on September 29th this year, and surely, Chinoys will continue to commemorate the rich history of this tradition.
So, how did this tradition start?
The Mooncake Festival started because of the selfless love between Chang’e and Hou Yi. According to a legend tracing back 2000 years ago from the Tang dynasty, there were ten suns, and Houyi shot down nine of them, which saved humanity from hunger as crops were thriving.
Through Houyi’s bravery, the Gods gave him an elixir to be immortal and be a god eventually. However, he hid it because he wanted to be with Chang’e. In an unexpected turn of events, Chang’e consumed the elixir and became the moon goddess.
Missing his wife, Hou Yi offers her favorite food as a gesture of love, which eventually becomes the Mooncake Festival.
Because of this, the essence of the Mooncake festival is to appreciate the moon’s beauty, a time of family reunion, showing gratitude, and celebrating the full moon, which symbolizes unity and completeness.
How Can Chinoys Celebrate the Mooncake Festival?
- Indulge in Mooncakes
Celebrate the Mooncake Festival by indulging in mooncakes with your family. Mooncakes usually are round pastries with savory fillings, including bean paste and salted egg. You can also drink tea to pair it with the delicious and iconic mooncakes.
Where to Buy: Add-to-Cart: Online Shops for Your Mooncake Needs
2. Attend Family Reunions
Like Christmas and New Year, the Mooncake Festival is also for family reunions. The tradition emphasizes the importance of the family, so most of the time, people go back to their hometowns or spend time with their cousins, grandparents, and other relatives.
3. Pua Tiong Chiu: Play the Dice Game!
As you attend family reunions, playing the dice game is a source of entertainment and socializing. Pua Tiong Chiu will also make you unplug from your phone. You only need a porcelain bowl, dice, and, of course, the prizes, which can be money or grocery packages. Just roll the dice, and simply, prepare yourself to win some prizes!
4. Appreciate the Moon’s Beauty
The Mooncake Festival is about appreciating the moon’s beauty because of its history between Chang’e and Hou Yi. Luckily, the Philippines has a lot of spots where you can have stargazing with your friends and family.
Perhaps you can visit Tanay, Rizal, El Nido, Palawan, or Anilao, Zambales, and observe the beautiful moon and stars. But, of course, you can appreciate the moon by looking out at your window to see the shiny and glorious moon.
5. Participate and Learn More About the Cultural Activities
As a Chinoy, the best way to preserve the culture and tradition is to be proactive in participating or learning more about the cultural activities of the Mooncake Festival. During the festival, there are storytelling, traditional music performances, and dance shows related to the festival.
Fortunately, the internet allows you to watch videos and learn more about these events. You can watch movies regarding the Mooncake Festival, like Over the Moon, on Netflix. By doing so, you can gain knowledge and develop an appreciation for the tradition.
As you indulge in mooncakes, remember the beautiful traditions and history of the Mooncake Festival. With this, the culture will live on and preserve the Chinese heritage.