When the moon is full in the midst of Autumn, Asia celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival is a great opportunity to go and play under the full moon with your sweetheart. After all, what is more romantic than moonlight and a sky full of stars? With inspiration from Asia’s Mid-Autumn Festival traditions, plan your own evening activities for the harvest celebration.
Barbeques are the modern celebration for the Mid-Autumn Festival. With the bright beams of the full moon, why not throw a midnight BBQ for two? Or, if you’d rather not start a fire in your backyard in the middle of the night, plan a midnight picnic for two.
Design your meal to symbolize the harvest moon with round foods such as hamburgers, pizza, quesadillas, or quiches. There are also plenty of fruits that are round shaped, and even if they aren’t, you can use a melon baller to create mini-moon shaped treats.
Mooncakes are the traditional treat prepared for the Mid-Autumn Festival, usually given as gifts. Their round shape represents the moon, and they are usually filled with nuts, fruit, jelly, and even egg yolk.
Cakes are a great way to show appreciation and affection to your sweetheart, friends, and family. Make little cakes for the people you appreciate, such as parents, in-laws, couples that have mentored you, or people who have served you or encouraged you in your time of need. Make traditional mooncakes (Christie’s Recipes has a pretty good recipe), or use a box mix to make multiple mini-cakes.
The full moon provides the perfect opportunity to go on late night dates. With the extra light, you can participate in activities that you normally do during the day time. Go for a bike ride, look for seashells on the beach, or even go white water rafting. The moon should shed enough light for any activity of your choosing!
Lanterns are a beautiful tradition during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Make your own paper lanterns to add to the fun of the holiday! Grab decorative paper and write things you love about your sweetheart, great memories you two share, or little love notes and create your own paper lantern. The web blog Oh Happy Day has good tutorials for homemade lanterns, along with Artsy Fartsy Mama and Festival. For the hardcore lantern makers, check out wikiHow’s sky lantern tutorial.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is known for its food and fun, but it’s also known for its romantic influences. As you enjoy the harvest of the season, take time to enjoy the harvest of your relationship.
Discuss the seeds of your relationship (the first time you met, the expectations you had, etc) and discuss the growth of your relationship (how you’ve changed as a person, how the hard work of your relationship was worth it.) Then discuss what future seeds you like to plant, such as how you would like to see the relationship grow and how you would like to celebrate your relationship throughout the year. Write these things down in a journal and review it every full moon throughout the year to check your progress.
If you’re single, write to your future spouse by moonlight. Write about the seeds you are planting now that you hope to reap in the future. Write your future spouse every full moon until your wedding day, and then present them with your letters on your honeymoon.
Dates for the Mid-Autumn Festival
2013 – September 19th
2014 – September 8th
2015 – September 27th
2016 – September 15th
2017 – October 4th
2018 – September 24th
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also called Chuseok in Korea and Tsukimi in Japan.
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