The Mid-Autumn Festival also known as the Mooncake Festival, is one of the most important traditional Chinese festivals. It falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, usually in September or early October. This festival holds deep cultural and historical significance in China and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Chinese communities all around the world.
This year, the Year of the Rabbit, is even more special as China’s National Day (october 1st) and national holiday coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival. Yes, you heard it right, China is gearing up for a dazzling celebration and a wonderful holiday! 2023 Mid-Autumn Day & China National Day holiday also known as the Golden Week will last from Sep.29 – Oct.6.
And as usual NBH brings you a brief overview to the festival and what stands out in the special year of 2023!
One of many legends
The origins of the Mooncake Festival are deeply rooted in Chinese mythology and folklore. One of the most famous legends associated with this festival is the story of Chang’e, the Moon Goddess. According to legend, Chang’e consumed the elixir of immortality and, as a result, was banished to live on the moon. People believe that on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the moon shines its brightest and clearest, and Chang’e can be seen the most clearly from Earth.
Traditionally, the festival is a time for family reunions, much like Thanksgiving in the United States or Christmas in Europe. Families gather to appreciate the full moon and celebrate the abundance of the harvest season. The round shape of mooncakes, a traditional delicacy eaten during this festival, symbolizes completeness and unity within the family.
Some cultural elements
Mooncakes are a central feature of the Mooncake Festival. These pastry-like cakes come in various flavors and fillings, such as lotus seed paste, red bean paste, and sometimes even salted egg yolks to represent the moon. Mooncakes often have intricate designs on their outer crust, showcasing traditional Chinese symbols and characters. Gifting mooncakes to family, friends, and business associates is a common practice during the festival, signifying well-wishing and gratitude.
Lanterns and Moon Gazing
Another cherished tradition of the festival is carrying colorful lanterns and strolling outdoors under the full moon. Children, in particular, enjoy parading with their lanterns, which come in various shapes and sizes. In parks and open spaces, people gather to admire the moon, share mooncakes, and participate in various cultural activities, including traditional dances and performances.
Dragon and Lion Dances
Dragon and lion dances are also performed during the Mooncake Festival. These lively and vibrant dances involve dancers wearing elaborate costumes, often resembling dragons or lions, and mimic the movements of these mythical creatures. These performances are believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.
In contemporary times, the Mooncake Festival has evolved, incorporating modern elements such as lantern exhibitions, musical performances, and even mooncake-making competitions.
So, how do brands and companies use the festival in their marketing?
Mooncakes and festive decorations start appearing in store windows weeks before the festival! The mooncake has truly become an iconic symbol of this holiday, and brands are vying to create the most innovative mooncake gift boxes.
In 2022, NBH delved into how international brands have chosen to promote their mooncakes, read last years mooncake insight here. Get inspired how brand choose to target their mooncake marketing.
When we explore social media and eCommerce platforms, our feeds are filled with images of gift boxes, mooncake tutorials, photos, and mooncake hauls, and the year of 2023 is no exaption.
NBH presents our favorites for 2023:
Gucci, as usual, has put thought into it and presents an elegant collection ahead of this year’s festival. Style overrules tradition, they say, so why not combine?
Cartier elegantly incorporates cultural elements, drawing inspiration from traditional Chinese architecture and featuring a tiger under the moonlight.
…and for the children! Cute retro mooncake boxes, perhaps this may be a future collector’s item from Disney.
Finally, we reveal our own unique approach. NBH embraces the fascination with outdoor and leisure activities. Table tennis feels like an obvious choice, especially as Sweden, for the first time in many years, has the chance to compete with the world’s foremost table tennis nation! We’ll see how it turns out!
The Mid-Autumn Festival provides an excellent chance to establish connections with your followers, clients, and customers. Mooncake gifting offers limitless opportunities for creativity and serves as a narrative for your brand. If not a mooncake giftbox, posting and send a greeting card for the holiday is always appreciated.
How does your brand align with Chinese cultural festivals?
NBH boasts extensive experience in the realm of digital marketing within China. Our expertise is accessible in both Europe and China. Explore our services further by clicking here.
Based on your industry and target audience, we tailor your marketing strategies to the appropriate platforms.