Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. For this year, the Mid-Autumn Day falls on 13th September. It takes its name from the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest.
On the festival day, family members gather to offer sacrifice to the moon, appreciate the bright full moon, eat moon cakes, and express strong yearnings toward family members and friends who live afar. In addition, there are some other customs like playing lanterns, and dragon and lion dances in some regions.
There are many traditional and new celebrations:
Having Dinner Together — Happy Family Reunion Time
As the Mid-Autumn Festival represents the reunion of families, families will have dinner together on that night. People who don’t have time to stay with their parents will try their best to go home to at least have dinner together.
Eating Mooncakes — The Most Representative Tradition
A mooncake is a traditional Chinese pastry. It is made from wheat flour and sweet stuffing, such as sugar and lotus seed powder. It’s a symbol of family reunion, and the cake is traditionally cut into pieces that equal the number of people in the family. Eating mooncakes is the most common and representative tradition of the day. In ordinary times, people won’t buy or eat mooncakes but during the Mid-Autumn Festival everyone will have a mooncake to celebrate
Appreciating the Moon — A Symbol of Family Reunion
In Chinese beliefs, the full moon is the symbol for a family reunion. Many famous ancient poets wrote poems about the moon and expressed their homesickness. When people look at the moon, it reminds them of their families and homeland.
Nowadays, people still like appreciating the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival in China. Chinese family members have dinner together in the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival. After dinner, they may talk about their work, the children, and their future plans.