Celebrating the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Harvest Festival

Held during the fall Full Harvest Moon, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays celebrated in Asian cultures. Long ago, the ancient Chinese observed that the moon’s movement was intricately tied to agriculture and the changing seasons. To this day, Chinese farmers still use the lunar calendar to determine the best times to plow, plant and harvest.

The origin of the Moon Festival dates back 3,000 years. People believed that by honoring the moon every Autumn, they’d ensure a plentiful harvest the following year. During the festival, emperors and others in the upper class sang, danced and drank wine. Commoners prayed. Edible sacrifices–always in round form–were offered to the Moon, the most common being moon cakes. Traditional moon cakes, filled with lotus seed paste, sweet red bean paste, jujube paste or egg yolk, were a symbol of fertility and family unity. These particular fillings benefit different organ systems. Other foods, such as watermelon carved into a lotus flower, grapefruits, soybeans, oranges and wine, were sacrificed as well.

The moon symbolizes harmony and completeness. This celestial being has the immense power to affect Earth’s tides. During every full moon, you have the opportunity to bring this power within through an energy practice called Qigong. Qigong quiets your mind, opens your heart and connects you to Nature’s unconditional love. Can you peacefully open your heart to the healing presence of the moon?

Tonight and every night during a full moon, stand in meditation holding the posture The Dragon Stands Between Heaven and Earth. Click below to practice along with Grand Master Nan Lu.