Release time:2016-10-24 10:28 Author:Nature
Keywords: Mid-Autumn Festival
Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is
the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival in China. It takes its name from the fact that it is always
celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of
the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest.
People in mainland China enjoy one day off on the festival which is usually connected with the weekend. In
Hong Kong and Macau, people also enjoy one day off. However, it is not scheduled on the festival day, but the
following day and it is usually not connected with the weekend. In Taiwan, the one day holiday falls on the festival day.
Mid-Autumn Festival is an inherited custom of moon sacrificial ceremonies. The ancient Chinese observed that the
movement of the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production. Hence, to
express their thanks to the moon and celebrate the harvest, they offered a sacrifice to the moon on autumn days.
Mid-Autumn Festival in Xian This custom could be traced back to the Zhou Dynasty (1046 - 256 BC) and was more
often practiced by the royal class on the Autumnal Equinox. At that time, the custom had no festival background at all.
Later in the Sui (581 - 618 AD) and Tang (618 - 907 AD) dynasties, social prosperity inspired the custom of appreciating
the moon on the moon sacrifice ceremony day among common people and the two merged. The people expressed
their faith more liberally than the royal class and so they did not strictly hold their activities on the Autumnal Equinox.
So August 15th of the Chinese lunar calendar, the closest full moon day to the Autumnal Equinox, turned out to be a
better choice and was set as a fixed festival. This happened in the Tang Dynasty. By the time of the Northern Song
Dynasty (960 - 1127 AD), Mid-Autumn Festival had already become a widely celebrated folk festival.
The Moon Cake is the special food of Mid-Autumn Festival. On that day, people sacrifice moon cakes to the moon as
an offering and eat them for celebration. Moon cakes come in various flavors according to the region. The moon cakes
are round, symbolizing the reunion of a family, so it is easy to understand how the eating of moon cakes under the round
moon can evoke longing for distant relatives and friends. Nowadays, people present moon cakes to relatives and friends
to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life