5 curious facts about Mid-Autumn Festival

[Update on 12 Aug 2016: Lunar in the SEAA has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Please look out for other exciting events at S.E.A. Aquarium such as Spooky Seas and Merry Fishmas. For any enquiries, kindly contact 6577 9788.]

Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, and is celebrated by Chinese communities all over the world. But do you know how this festival came about and what mooncakes were originally used for? Here are some facts to help you better understand this traditional celebration.

  1. It dates back over 3,000 years

The celebration can be traced back to the Shang Dynasty (1600 to 1046 BC). The emperors used to worship the moon in autumn because they believed it would lead to a bountiful harvest.

  1. The legend of Chang Er
Lunar in the SEAA

There used to be 10 suns in the sky which nearly eliminated all life on earth with their scorching heat. A hero named Hou Yi shot down 9 of them with his bow and arrows and was rewarded with an elixir of immortality by the heavenly Queen Mother. Curious about this elixir, his wife Chang Er secretly consumed it and ended up flying to the moon. It was the 15th day of the eighth lunar month and heartbroken Hou Yi displayed Chang Er’s favourite fruit and cakes on a table in remembrance of her. From then on, people pray to Chang Er for fortune and safety during the Mid-Autumn Festival with offerings of food.

  1. An important day for family reunions

Mid-Autumn Festival is probably the second most important Chinese festival after Lunar New Year which celebrates family reunion. Every year, Chinese will make it a point to return home from wherever they are to celebrate the festival with their families.

  1. Mooncakes were secret weapons

Lunar in the SEAA

In 14th century China, at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, Chinese revolutionaries planned an uprising against their Mongolian rulers. Their leader Zhu Yuanzhang and his advisor Liu Bowen spread a rumor about a deadly plague that could only be prevented by eating mooncakes. As such, mooncakes were distributed to all the common folks, and inside each cake was a piece of paper with the words “Kill the Mongols on the 15th day of the eighth month”. A huge uprising occurred as planned and the Chinese eventually overthrew their Mongol oppressors.

  1. Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated differently around the world

Lunar in the SEAA

Instead of mooncakes, the Japanese consume glutinous rice cakes during Mid-Autumn Festival. In South-Korea, the festival is celebrated with a three-day holiday, where people return to their hometowns to visit their family and relatives. In Singapore, families gather over mooncakes, pomelo and Chinese tea to appreciate the full moon.

[Update on 12 Aug 2016: Lunar in the SEAA has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Please look out for other exciting events at S.E.A. Aquarium such as Spooky Seas and Merry Fishmas. For any enquiries, kindly contact 6577 9788.]

One other way you can enjoy Mid-Autumn Festival differently in Singapore is by celebrating it in the company of 100,000 marine animals at Lunar in the SEAA. This is a unique opportunity for family bonding as you also get to experience a variety of educational and fun activities together. Here’s what’s in store:

  • Lantern Riddle-Guessing Trail

Lunar in the SEAA

Go on a cultural discovery around the aquarium with a complimentary lighted lantern in hand! Learn about the rich history and traditions of this celebration as you solve fun riddles about the Mid-Autumn Festival. Unlock a secret message along the way and be rewarded with a gift at the end of your fruitful journey.

  • Mooncake Buffet Spread

Lunar in the SEAA

Tuck into an awesome spread of mooncakes against the panoramic backdrop of marine life at the Open Ocean Gallery. Some of the mooncakes include Assorted Nut Mooncake, White Lotus Low Sugar Mooncake, and the artisanal Sea Salt Black Sesame with Green Bean Mooncake. Accompanying these sweet treats are crisp and fluffy fried mantous, sweet pomelo, and free-flow Chinese tea, juices and water.

  • Eco-Friendly Lantern Making Competition

Experience the joy of making an eco-friendly lantern together with your loved ones and light up your creation with pride. All ticket holders will receive a lighted lantern. Simply create your own masterpiece with the recyclable materials provided. Three of the most creative lanterns will each win a prize! Here’s an inspiration for you:

  • Storytelling Sessions by “Chang Er “

Lunar in the SEAA

Many kids these days are not familiar with Chinese legends. In our intimate storytelling sessions by “Chang Er”, also known as the Goddess of the Moon, kids can learn about renowned Chinese legends of bygone eras and uncover the tales behind traditions.

Lunar in the SEAA
Date:   4 September 2016, Sunday
Time:   8pm – 10.30pm
Venue: S.E.A. Aquarium

  Adult Child
(age 4-12)
S.E.A. Aquarium
Annual/Season Pass Member
$20 $15 book-now-btn
Member# $28 $25 book-now-btn
Public $38 $28 book-now-btn









Make your reservation online or at any Ticket Counter in the Resort before 4 September 2016.

* This is a separately ticketed event. Admission ticket is required.
# All other RWS Invites Members.

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