It’s Time to Celebrate the Moon Festival!

Mid-Autumn Festival traditions focus on the theme of thanksgiving and reunion, as the full moon symbolizes unity. It is celebrated every year on the 15th day of the 8th month on the lunar calendar.  On the Gregorian calendar, it falls on a full moon near the autumn equinox in September or early October.  The festival has its origins in ancient harvest celebrations and moon worship. Here are four ways you can celebrate the mid-autumn festival:

1. Appreciate the Bright Full Moon

A bright, full moon is the symbol of family reunion, reminding people of their hometowns and loved ones. Gazing at the Moon is an ancient tradition dating back to the Zhou dynasty (around 500 BC), when people held ceremonies to welcome the full moon.

In the modern world, after a family reunion dinner, some people choose to go outdoors to appreciate the moon on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Good places for appreciating the moon are at the parks and squares.

2. Light and Display Chinese Mid-Autumn Lanterns

One of the interesting Mid-Autumn Festival customs is hanging up lanterns, made from bamboo strips shaped like fruit and birds. Children are particularly fond of making their own traditional lanterns. When darkness falls, locals place candles inside the lanterns and hang them outside. There is a belief that the higher the lanterns are hung the luckier the family will be.

Every year, lantern carnivals and exhibitions are held in parks and other public places, during which lanterns of various colors, patterns and styles are on display.

3. Eat Moon Cakes

The most famous tradition is eating mooncakes. Mooncakes are a type of small round pastry come with different fillings, including nuts, red bean paste, lotus seed paste, yam paste, or salted duck egg. Traditionally, mooncakes were made at home. Now, everyone prefer to buy fanciful mooncake gift boxes to give as presents.  Mooncakes played an important role in Chinese history. During the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) China was run by invading Mongolian forces.  It is rumored that the Yuan Dynasty was overthrown when Chinese rebels hid messages in mooncakes calling for an uprising that began on the mid-autumn festival.


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