The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival that has been celebrated for over 3,000 years. This holiday is one of the largest festivals in Asian culture, second only to the Lunar New Year, as similar holidays are celebrated in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other countries throughout East and Southeast Asia. Although it began as worshipping of the moon, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also a time to reconnect with family members. Many traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival are explicitly centered around grand family reunions.
In ancient China, lanterns were used to provide light and as aspects of worship. Today, they are used for decoration and as modern forms of celebration as families set out lanterns to make their surroundings more festive. Lanterns have become a symbol of pride in Asian countries and are used to decorate homes and public spaces.
The must-have food to be eaten and gifted during the Mid-Autumn Festival are mooncakes. These treats are shaped to be as round as the moon and symbolize completeness, longevity and togetherness. As the full moon represents prosperity and reunion for the whole family, round mooncakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival will take place on September 10. Celebrate with us at the below events!
Live Music With Melody of China, opens a new window
Melody of China is a San Francisco-based Chinese music ensemble that performs traditional and contemporary music and newly commissioned works. They promote classical and modern Chinese music by providing rich musical entertainment through the synergy of ancient Chinese tradition with youthful and diverse American culture. Their dedication to taking on new works by contemporary composers, in addition to traditional materials, is what makes them a leading Chinese music ensemble.
- Thursday, September 8 at 6:30 PM – Millbrae Library
- Friday, September 9 at 2:00 PM – Foster City Library
- Saturday, September 10 at 2:00 PM – Belmont Library
Autumn Moon Bookmaking With Book Arts Roadshow, opens a new window
Learn how to use ready-made paste papers, linen thread and Asian stab binding techniques to make round autumn moon books with Book Arts Roadshow! Tools and enough supplies will be provided for each participant to make and take home three pocket-sized Autumn moon books. Register to join at a library near you!
- Saturday, September 3 at 11:00 AM – San Carlos Library
- Saturday, September 3 at 3:00 PM – Half Moon Bay Library
- Sunday, September 11 at 10:30 AM – Foster City Library
- Sunday, September 11 at 2:00 PM – Brisbane Library
Meet Kristina Cho, Author of Mooncakes and Milk Bread
San Mateo County Libraries welcomes Bay Area author Kristina Cho on Tuesday, September 6 at 7:00 PM. Join us and virtually meet Cho as she does a live mooncake demo and discusses her book!
Once you've registered, you'll receive your Zoom invitation and information on obtaining a giveaway copy of Mooncakes & Milk Bread.
Mooncakes & Milk Bread features over 80 recipes and highlights the incredible range of items that can be found inside Chinese cafes and bakeries, including sweet and savory baked buns, steamed buns, breads, unique cookies, whimsical cakes and juicy dumplings. It's the very first English language book to extensively cover Chinese baking and celebrate this sweet facet of Chinese American culture. Get a glimpse into Chinese bakeries across America and learn from the bakers and owners themselves about why these businesses are so important to Asian American culture.
Kristina Cho is a cookbook author and culinary content creator. Her culinary perspective is rooted in her experiences as a first-generation Chinese American growing up in Cleveland with her restaurant family. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she's working on her next cookbook and continues to share recipes on her blog, Eat Cho Food.
For a complete listing of our Mid-Autumn events, see our events page!
Want to Read More?
Check out these titles as we prepare to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival!