September Special Edition: The Mid Autumn Harvest Moon Festival

September Special Edition: The Mid Autumn Harvest Moon Festival
Photo by Billy Kwok / Unsplash


How has your week been?

I've had a bit of a hectic week at work. I rolled officially onto a new engagement alongside starting my role as the Office Charity Liason too! I feel like I have been a social recluse for most of the year and to be suddenly thrown into new teams has me a bit unsure of myself. However, unlike this time last year, I find myself more up to the task and feeling more ready to take on the challenge of a heavier workload this winter!

Overall, I had a challenging but rewarding week! It ended with celebrating the Mid Autumn Harvest Moon Festival on Friday 29th September 2023 with my Chinese family. This involved eating mooncakes, making mooncakes and generally taking the time to feel really thankful for the Good Health that I do have(!), Family and Friends.

What is the Mid Autumn Harvest Moon Festival?

Typically celebrated across East Asia as a Harvest festival. It is held on the 15th day on the 8th lunar month, where it is believed the moon is at it's fullest! Definitely check out the night sky on festival day, it is rarely wrong. It is recognised as a public holiday in China and Hong Kong and many other East Asian countries!

Festive activities include: Family gatherings, Moon watching, Eating Mooncakes and Lighting Paper Lanterns.

It is most akin to a Thanksgiving or Harvest Day in western culture. The theme of Harvest is particularly poignant as historically in China, farmers would use the lunar cycle as guidance for the farming schedule. Hence, the cultural worshiping of the moon holds great significance for bringing good "harvest moonlight" that has remained culturally significant today!

Its Significance to a British Chinese Family in the United Kingdom

I am British Born Chinese, affectionately called BBC in the UK, like British Broadcasting Channel haha... and my family do celebrate the Mid Autumn Harvest Moon Festival, long before I even really knew what to call it! Growing up, I just remember after summer, in the months of September to October, there would be metal tin boxes in pretty red and gold stiff card bags of little round pastries in a square plastic tubs! It is a lot of circles inside squares, I am not sure what the significance of that is. And can you imagine inside the circle pastries aka. mooncakes are little suns aka. salted egg yolks haha. circle inside circle inside a square inside a square. haha.

Celebrating the Mid Autumn Harvest Festival was an annual happening in our household but it wasn't so much of an event. It was something that breezed through the house as a time to eat special mooncakes, an acquired taste of lotus seed paste and salted egg yolks, and being reminded by my dad to go outside and look at the round moon. I have to say the mooncakes took more of my attention than the bright moon! What I mean to emphasise is that maybe because we live in a western country where there is no public holiday nor fanfare in the streets did we not celebrate this festival so contentiously nevertheless, the reminiscent of the festivals traditions still remained. My dad always made an effort to remind us when the festival day was arriving, perhaps because of his own childhood in Hong Kong. It wasn't many generations ago, when my family were rice farmers in Hong Kong!

As I grew older, some year's we didn't celebrate the festival day at all other than a passing look out of the window at a particularly bright and round moon. Mooncakes became more expensive and we weren't able to see as many visiting acquaintances who usually brought a box or two!

However, this year we managed to get hold one pack of mooncakes! Perhaps it is me feeling nostalgic as I get older, the pandemic where our family was separated from others or my changing health circumstances. The Mid Autumn Harvest Moon Festival has become more meaningful and celebrated in my household. On Friday, I had a not so renal friendly wedge of Mooncake minus the salted egg yolk and we had a big dinner and left some offerings by our family altar.

My family has come a long way from being Rice Farmers in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, we continue to celebrate and recognise cultural festivities in our own way in the UK.

Mid Autumn Harvest Moon Festival Poster

Making Mooncakes!

I have been preparing for a Mooncake Bakesale for charity at my office this week. I will be making homemade snowy mooncakes with western style fillings instead of the lotus seed, red bean and salted egg fillings. Mainly because I wasn't sure if it would sell! Instead I am making Vanilla Custard, Coconut Cream, Chocolate Espresso and Matcha White Chocolate wrapped in a delicate glutinous rice wrapper! Wow sounds so appetising! I am so excited to share this with everyone in the office and hopefully make lots of money for the charity! I think it is really nice to share these cultural days with everyone.

Here's the recipe I follow:

Master the Easiest Mooncake Recipe! (Snowy-Style) by Souped Up Recipes


A bit of a different style of Magic Mirror Magazine this week! Hope you enjoyed the read.

Wishing you all the best on your kidney journey!

Lai x

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IGA Nephropathy confirmed at 21. Crashed into End Stage Renal Failure at 23. Now, I share with the world my 3 years lived experience on Home Peritoneal Dialysis and Post Transplant Living 10/10/2023