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Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival 2020 and 2021

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a popular observance in Malaysia amongst those of ethnic Chinese heritage. It is not a public holiday, but malls nevertheless decorate and sell special food items at this time of year. It is sometimes known as Lantern Festival.

YearDateDayHoliday
20201 OctThuMid-Autumn Festival
202121 SepTueMid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, on a full moon day. This is always in mid-fall, sometime in later September or early October.

Moon cakes are the food of choice on this holiday. These cakes are filled with sweet-tasting bean paste or with lotus seeds or another filling. Originally, the Festival was closely connected with making offerings to the moon god to get a bountiful harvest. Today, most are not moon worshipers, but the cake is still shaped as a moon for that reason.

Traditionally, many families of Chinese descent in Malaysia would make moon cakes of a variety of types, have festive family dinners, and go on marches while holding up lit Chinese lanterns at night. Today it is much more common to buy pre-made, packaged moon cakes, although some people still hunt out traditional hand-made ones.