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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.  To many Chinese, it is still the second most important festival after Chinese New Year.

Mid-Autumn Festival infographic

What is Mid-Autumn Festival?

To the Chinese, Mid-Autumn Festival means family reunion and peace. The festival is celebrated when the moon is believed to be the biggest and fullest. To the Chinese, a full moon is a symbol of prosperity, happiness, and family reunion.

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 10 Interesting Mid-Autumn Facts.

How the Chinese Celebrate Mid-Autumn

Many traditional and meaningful celebrations are held in most households in China, and China's neighboring countries. The main traditions and celebrations include eating mooncakes, having dinner with family, gazing at and worshipping the moon, and lighting lanterns

How Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in China's Major 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

Why Mid-Autumn Festival is Celebrated and How it Started

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 about the festival are widespread, and its origins have been guessed at and explained by generations of Chinese.

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.

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.

Read more on Top 10 Mooncake Flavors.

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes

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