Mid-Autumn Festival: A time for reunion

Daniel Lim

The second most important celebration in the Chinese Lunar Calender other than the Chinese New Year; is the Mid-Autumn Festival – also known as the Mooncake Festival – which is observed on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calender. This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival fell on October 1.

The reason why the festival isa lso known as Mooncake Festival is because mooncakes are always served during the celebration.

With varying shapes and sizes – from the typical short cylindrical shaped bean filled mooncakes to more rounded contemporary styled mooncakes – the sharing of mooncake is one of the hallmark of the festival; with the circular shape symbolising completeness and reunion.

Traditionally, the festival is held to celebrate a successful harvest and good fortune, as well as an opportunity for families and friends to reunite. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not easy for the Chinese communities around the world, including Brunei Darussalam, to celebrate the occasion.

The Foochow Association of Kuala Belait, celebrated the festival on a Saturday night with members of the association and their families. The association held several activities that coincided with the Mid-Autum Festival theme. Secretary of the association Ruby Hui said, “Looking at the moon, we think of our home and family; and I hope that everyone gets to enjoy and partake in the activities.”

Decorative paper craft such as lanterns adorn a Mid-Autumn Festival venue. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM

The Chinese community at the Panaga Club also celebrated the festival over the weekend. The Chinese community had invited all members for the celebration.

Sharing the joy of celebrating such an occasion was something that the Chairperson of the Chinese Community at the Panaga Club Ting Ting Chang strived to achieve. She explained that the festival represents an opportunity to showcase Chinese traditions.

“We have some traditional Chinese decorations as well as mooncakes and tea for people interested to learn and taste Chinese traditional cuisine. For the children, we have arts and craft such as making Chinese paper lanterns and postcards with the moon and the rabbit which symbolises the legend of the festival.” She also emphasised the celebration provides opportunities for them to share joy while also letting others learn about the festival and what it symbolises.

“I think we would like the members to learn more about the Mid-Autumn Festival, and how important it is for the Chinese community to spread the joy of such festivities.”