Beijing, 10 September 2022 (TDI): People all across China are celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival also known as the Mooncake Festival or the Moon Festival Day, today. Apart from China, several other countries including Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and North Korea also celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, every year.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is observed on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This year, the day fell on 10th September.

The Moon Festival is one of the essential traditions in China and the second most celebrated festival. The first one is Chinese New Year’s Day. People all across the country celebrate the festival by having family and friend gatherings, enjoying traditional foods, making mooncakes, lighting lanterns and moon gazing.

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival or the Lantern Festival is referred to as the day for family gatherings to offer thanks for the fall harvest and to pray for good fortune. Thus, the main focus of the festival is thanksgiving, prayers and family time.

In Chinese culture, the moon symbolizes togetherness hence why it is the tradition to celebrate the day with big feasts with friends and family. Furthermore, as per the traditions, making and eating mooncakes is a must at the Mid-Autumn Festival. People in China get a three-day holiday during this festival.

The holiday originated more than 3,000 years ago during the Shang dynasty but only gained widespread popularity 1,500 years later when emperors in the Tang dynasty began holding formal celebrations in their palaces.

Furthermore, those who are not able to celebrate the festival with their loved ones during the festival, they send celebration messages to their family and friends to show they are thinking of them.

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Traditions of Mid-Autumn Festival

One of the primary traditions of the festival is to watch the full moon. Gazing at the moon is an ancient tradition dating back to the Zhou dynasty when people used to hold ceremonies to watch the full moon. Moreover, in modern times, people hold family gatherings, usually on rooftops to admire the moon.

Other traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival in China include eating mooncakes, lighting and displaying lanterns, sending gifts to loved ones, praying to the moon and by tradition lion and dragon dance.