For those in manufacturing, there are two major holidays to always plan around – Chinese New Year, which happens around the beginning of the year and Autumn Moon Festival, the second-most important Chinese holiday which happens around Mid-September to Early October. Both of these holidays lead to closures of factories, offices and plants for several days meaning you must plan around these dates in advance or be left to scramble last minute when you find out that China is closed for several days.
In any regular year, Autumn Moon Festival is typically enjoyed with one day off which is usually connected with the weekend to be a three-day holiday. This traditional festival is similar to our North American Thanksgiving where Chinese families get together and reunite, have treats together like moon cakes and display Chinese style lanterns.
Moon cakes are small dense pastries typically filled with lotus or red bean paste, some with salted egg centers to symbolize the moon. Some people actually enjoy this treat, I am in this camp but only can eat small portions at a time due to the richness. Some people consider moon cake as the ‘fruit cake’ of China because people just eat it out of tradition.
This year the Autumn Moon festival starts on October 1st. It falls during the first full moon that is closest to the autumnal equinox which corresponds to the Harvest Moon in many countries. It is believed that the moon will be the brightest and fullest size at this time so it is perfect for harvest and the roundest in size which symbolizes it is time for a reunion.
October 1st also happens to be China’s National day which already is a recognized public holiday and the start of the Chinese shopping holiday called “Golden Week”. Since Autumn Moon Festival occurs during the same day, the holiday will be eight days long, celebrated together with Chinese National Day.
This is an interesting time to watch the domestic China economy since earlier in the year there were travel bans and restrictions placed during the major Chinese New Year holiday. China is expected to see a huge surge in demand on domestic travel and in the service sector as this will become the busiest holiday in China post-pandemic.
Happy Autumn Moon Festival! 中秋快乐! Zhōngqiū kuàilè!