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Mid-Autumn Festival 2016

China’s Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on month 8 day 15 of China’s lunar calendar (in September or October). Mid-Autumn Festival 2016 is on September 15. Chinese people will have a three-day holiday from September 15 to 17.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important festival to Chinese people after the Spring Festival. Every year, when the festival comes, Chinese go home from every corner of the country and the world for family reunions.

Chinese people believe the full moon is a symbol of peace, prosperity, and family reunion. On Mid-Autumn night the harvest moon is supposed to be the brightest and fullest of the year, so the festival is also known as the "Day of Reunion" and the "Moon Festival".

Mid-Autumn Festival infographic

How Mid-Autumn Festival Began

The Mid-Autumn Festival has a history of over 3,000 years, dating back to moon worship in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC). It‘s such an important festival that many poems were written about it, stories and legends on the festival are widespread, and its origins have been guessed at and explained by generations of Chinese.

How the Chinese Celebrate Mid-Autumn

Many traditional and meaningful celebrations are held in most households in China and China's neighboring countries, like having dinner with family, admiring the full moon, eating mooncakes, and lighting up kongming lanterns.

Mid-Autumn Festival Facts

  • Name in Chinese: 中秋节 Zhongqiujie /jong-chyoh-jyeah/
  • Importance: the second most important (traditional) Chinese Festival after Chinese New Year
  • Date: September or October
  • Popular food: mooncakes
  • Celebrations: admiring the full moon, eating mooncakes
  • Origin: A harvest festival with origins in moon worship.
  • History: Over 3,000 years
  • Greetings: The simplest is "Happy Mid-Autumn Festival" (中秋快乐).

Read more on Mid-Autumn Festival facts.

Mooncakes — the Must-Eat Mid-Autumn Treat

Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries eaten to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. The festival typically involves much giving, receiving, and eating of mooncakes.

Chinese mooncakes are the traditional dessert/snack of Mid-Autumn Festival. They are round in shape, like the full harvest moon of Mid-Autumn’s evening. Up to 10 cm (4 inches) wide and 5 cm (2 inches) deep, most mooncakes consist of a pastry skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling.

Mooncakes are usually eaten in small wedges, and shared by family members, generally with Chinese tea.

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes

Read more on Top 10 Mooncake Flavors.

Top Places to Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in China

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a family celebration and some families go out on special moon-viewing outings to parks and scenic spots in their cities.

China Highlights' Mid-Autumn Festival tours allow you to have an authentic Moon Festival experience as the Chinese people do. If you happen to be in China, the best places to go for Mid-Autumn atmosphere are in the following cities:

Mid-Autumn Festival in Shanghai Shanghai
Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong Hong Kong
Mid-Autumn Festival in Hanghzou Hangzhou
Mid-Autumn Festival in Guangzhou Guangzhou
Mid-Autumn Festival in Shenzhen Shenzhen

Shops and Department Stores Have Mid-Autumn Sales

It is a tradition for Chinese people to visit and give gifts to friends and relatives during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Therefore, shops and department stores always seize the opportunity to promote sales. They prepare decorations, entertainment, and promotional activities to attract customers weeks before.

Good discounts and special offers for some goods can be found in most department stores and shops during the festival.

How Mid-Autumn Is Celebrated in China's Neighboring Countries

In many of China's neighboring nations Mid-Autumn is widely celebrated. Many interesting activities with unique local features are held.

Send Free Mid-Autumn Festival Cards

More free Mid-Autumn Festival cards

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