Chinese Mooncake Festival

Saturday, September 8 in Carmel 

What: Join us for our annual celebration of the City of Carmel’s Chinese Mooncake Festival – including the popular DRAGON PARADE

When: Saturday, September 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. / with DRAGON PARADE AT 6:10 PM

Where: Indiana Design Center, 200 South Range Line Road, Carmel

Who: City of Carmel, Carmel-Xiangyang Sister City Committee and IU Health North Hospital

What: The Chinese Mooncake Festival is a free event featuring music, dance, mooncakes and a traditional Dragon Parade through the streets of the Carmel Arts & Design District.

BACKGROUND – The Mooncake Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival, is the second most important holiday celebrated in China, after the Chinese New Year, and takes place during the full moon. 

According to Chinese legend, there was a time when ten suns hung in the sky, baking the earth and depriving the people of water and life.  An archer named Hou Yi climbed a high mountain and shot down nine of the suns with his bow, saving the earth from certain destruction.  As a reward, the Lady Queen Mother gave Hou Yi the elixir of immortality, offering eternal life and enabling him fly to the heavens.  He in turn gave it to his wife Chang’e for safekeeping while he was out hunting.  

While Hou Yi was away, one of his apprentices tried to steal the elixir.  In a panic, Chang’e drank the potion, became a Goddess herself, and rose into the night sky.  But out of love for her husband, she landed on the place closest to Earth – the moon.  When Hou Yi returned and found his wife gone, he was devastated.  He looked up to the sky as he called out her name, and saw her there – the Goddess of the Moon.  He was so overwhelmed, he brought out her favorite cakes and prayed to the gods for blessings from Heaven.  

Since that time – nearly 3,000 years ago, the Chinese people worship Heaven and celebrate with mooncakes on the anniversary of that momentous day.  Thus, the Mooncake Festival is famous among the Chinese.  In modern times, families sit together and look at the moon to show appreciation for Heaven, Earth and Family Unity – symbolized by the round shape of the mooncake.  

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