Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most renowned and significant festivals in China. The festival is said to have originated when a Chinese scholar recognized that the moon was closely related to seasonal changes, climate and the previous year’s agricultural failures and successes. Thus, the Mid-Autumn Festival occasion began to revolve around the autumn equinox, when the moon and sun each shine for 12 hours. A foreign teacher teaching in China will be amazed by the origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival while celebrating the occasion during their stay in China. A TEFL teacher qualified to teach English in China can teach English words about the Mid-Autumn Festival to the Chinese and international students.
Phrases and English Words to Teach About the Mid-Autumn Festival
An expat that has found an opportunity to teach English in China will be able to learn, value, celebrate and appreciate the Mid-Autumn Festival and celebrations. A TEFL teacher will be able to teach the various English words that relate to the Mid Autumn Festival celebrations. Some of the English words and phrases to teach about the Mid-Autumn Festival include:
- Reunion; refers to two or more people coming together for an occasion or celebration.
- Mid-autumn festival; Chinese traditional festival
- Mooncake; Chinese round-shaped cake eaten during the Mid-Autumn festival
- Lantern; used for lighting during festivals and celebrations
- Admire the moon; Chinese admired and appreciated the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festivals.
- Custom, Habit; accepted behaviour or tradition conducted by members of the society.
- Culture; Customs and social behaviour of the Chinese to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and other celebrations in China.
Other phrases and English words include traditional calendar, festival, holiday, kinship, moon, and tradition.
Mid-Autumn Festival Traditions
- Family reunions
The family reunion is one of the traditions and celebrations conducted during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Many families celebrate and enjoy the various holiday activities, bright moon, stories, songs and special foods. The moon’s roundness stands for the reunion and coming together of the family. During this time, families will have dinner together on the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Those individuals staying too far from their parents spend time with their close friends.
- Appreciating the moon
Another tradition during the Mid-Autumn Festival is appreciating the full moon, which represents family reunions in Chinese culture. Chinese believe and claim that the moon on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival is usually the most beautiful and brightest. The Chinese invite their friends and set the table outside their houses, sit together and enjoy their tasty mooncakes while admiring the full moon. Parents with little kids often tell stories, including the legend of change flying to the moon. The Chinese cite numerous poems praising the moon’s beauties, which expresses people’s longing for their families and friends at Mid-Autumn Festival.
Mooncakes are recognized and are the official Mid-Autumn Festival holiday treat. They are usually round to represent and reflect the shape of the moon. The common type of mooncake is generally prepared from wheat flour and stuffed with sugary fillings, including powdered lotus seeds and sweetened red bean paste. The mooncake’s sweet flavour and round shape represent sweetness and completeness. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, people eat and enjoy the mooncakes with their families and present them to their friends and relatives to express their best wishes and love.
A foreign teacher teaching in China will learn and appreciate the Mid-Autumn Festival since it serves the purpose of bringing family and friends to celebrate and spend time together. In China’s most populous cities, coloured lanterns from every storefront and building are placed representing celebrations of the mid-autumn festival. A TEFL teacher will enjoy spending time teaching English words to students about the Mid-Autumn Festival and attend to some exciting public events that are held during the celebrations.