How do Ethnic Minorities Celebrate the Mid-Autumn?
Except for some traditional and popular costumes, minority people still maintain some quaint old customs for celebration. In the absence of the law of nature, ancestors put reproduction at the first place in their miserable existence. It was considered that they could pass on magical power themselves by worshiping the moon to strengthen their ability.
The ceremony of moon worship is elaborate. People set a table at the entrance of the village, placing sacrificial offerings on it, an incense burner and a twig on the side. The ceremony includes greeting the moon god, singing between the god and a woman, inviting the god to fortune-telling and the seeing the god off. This program has preserved the part of the fairy tale about the moon.
Walking in the moonlight is a custom enjoyed by Dong Nationality. Playing the Lusheng (wind instrument) and involving dancing teams from different villages, women go out for a walk together and visit adjoining villages, singing and dancing overnight.
Dancing under the moon is the traditional custom of Yi Nationality on the Mid-Autumn Festival. People of all ages are dressed well for this night’s dancing and singing activities, especially young men and women who show their affection by beautiful songs.
The day before the festival, all of the people in the village dress up in new clothes, young men will adorn a yellow ox with red silk, and a patriarch will pray for a good harvest next year with sound of music and firecrackers. Then the yellow ox will be ritually slaughtered, its bovine heart will be kept until the Mid-Autumn Festival and then distributed to every household, meaning all of villagers are in unity. The patriarch will then lead the villagers to worship with little pigs, hens and geese under the tree. They will have a feast after all the ceremonies.
Korean Minority in China
When a round moon rises in the sky, the Korean Minority people build a framework for viewing the moon and invite several old men climb on it and gaze at the moon. After finishing this activity, people will burn the frame, and play the tambourine and flute, with singing and dancing.
The Li people celebrate by presenting moon cakes, sweet rice cake, silk scarves, colorful fans and vests to each other, and then have a barbecue, drinking rice wine. It is a right occasion for young men and women to find marriage partners.
Mongols like to play a game of chasing the moon. Under the moonlight, they ride horses on an area of open grassland toward west until moonset.
In the area of Tibet, people celebrate the festival by searching for the moon. They follow the inverted image of the moon in water, such as a river or lake and then have a family reunion.