Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese Moon Festival
Mid-Autumn Festival, also called Moon Festival, is an important traditional festival for family reunions in China. Just as the name suggests, it always falls on August 15th of the Chinese lunar calendar, the middle of autumn every year (a day around the Autumn Equinox).
Dating back to the Tang Dynasty about 1,500 years ago, it originated as a selected day to worship the Moon, which has been esteemed as a considerate goddess in ancient Chinese legends.
Festival Rituals and Activities
When the first ray of the sun shines on that day, the festival begins. Everyone, except the children, will be summoned up to prepare for the big celebration dinner in the evening. Exploring the markets, buying moon cakes, fruits, and other foods, clearinghouse, setting the tables, and cooking are allocated accordingly. And all the preparation work should be done before sunset.
At the moment the moon gets her face coined in the night sky, the worship rituals start. Lighting sandalwood sticks, candles, and lanterns proceeding the age-old chanting, burning paper devils, and praying for the family's safety and prosperity are the basic procedures. After the ceremony comes to the reunion feast. Various decent delicacies and snacks on the table could even delight the most captious gastronomist. Of course, the centerpiece of the feast, moon cakes of kinds and flavors should not be missed. It is said that having the cakes will bring the eater good luck. Some folk programs like duo-singing, dancing and riddles always accompany the dining, bringing everyone hearty laughter and enjoyment.
What makes the Mid Autumn festival special now is the long-rooted traditions that Chinese people have kept for generations. For those who live in concrete buildings of the hustle cities, Mid Autumn Festival is an excellent escape from urban life. So each year when the Mid Autumn Day is approaching, thousands of Chinese people, especially the Han People, will head back to their homes from all over the country for a family get-together. The joyful atmosphere, meeting the beloved ones, enjoyable festive programs and delicious traditional foods pay off their efforts in the journey backing.