...The Moon Lantern Festival is held as part of the annual OzAsia Festival which takes place every spring in Adelaide, Australia under the direction of the Adelaide Festival Centre. The OzAsia Festival celebrates the diversity of Asian life – from the Indian subcontinent, to Japan, China and Korea, and South-East Asia and Indonesia (and a multitude of places in between).
The OzAsia Festival and the Moon Lantern Festival are great examples of how our communities are exploring the links between Australia and our neighbours in the Asian region.
...The Moon Lantern Festival takes place each year when the moon shines brightest – at the time of the full moon on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. This festival celebrates the South-East Asian belief that the moon provides positive influences over the earth during this time of the year.
The Festival brings together families to enjoy the beauty of the moon, eat moon cakes, sing songs about the moon and take pleasure in each other’s company to celebrate this special event.
For Australia, the countries of the Asian region are of critical importance. They are our closest neighbours and major trading partners. Their rich traditional and contemporary cultures provide opportunities for our social, creative and intellectual development.
...The Moon Lantern Festival is celebrated by many Asian cultures including Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Laotians, Cambodians, Koreans, Japanese, Indonesians, Malaysians and Singaporeans. For many Asian cultures, the Moon Lantern Festival is the most important date in the second half of the lunar calendar and has been celebrated for thousands of years.
In Australia ‘mid autumn’ is early spring, so the first full moon of the new season is a important time, when winter is behind us and the energy of summer is on the horizon. People celebrate the beauty of the moon at public celebrations across Australia, as well as in backyards, with lanterns and moon cakes.
...In Vietnam the Moon Lantern Festival is one of the most popular family holidays, while in Korea the festival occurs during the harvest season when Korean families thank their ancestors for providing them with rice and fruits. The Japanese too celebrate the full moon in September, admiring the moons beauty and praying for a good rice harvest.
...And yes, despite a day of clouds and overcast skies, the full moon did make an appearance right on queue, soon after the sun set in the west and the Moon Lantern Festival got underway.