Mid-Autumn Festival: A Poetic Enchantment in China


The Mid-Autumn Festival, or Zhōngqiū Jié (中秋), is also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival. Each year, it falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

Along with the Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important traditional festivals in China. It dates back over 3,000 years when the term “mid-autumn” first appeared in the “Rites of Zhou,” a collection of rituals of the Zhou Dynasty (1045–221 B.C.).

After finishing the summer harvest season, it is an ideal time for Chinese people to celebrate on this day when the moon is usually at its fullest and brightest.


Born of a Legend

Like many Chinese festivals, the Mid-Autumn Festival originated from a legend. This particular festival celebrates the beautiful yet sad story of Chang E, the Moon Lady. Although there are many versions of this legend, the most common one is as follows:  Read more

Moon Cake, an Important Symbol of the Festival

There are many customs followed in different parts of China, such as burning incense, planting mid-autumn trees, lighting lanterns on towers, and holding fire-dragon dances, etc. However, the moon cake, with its many variations, has been an important symbol of the festival. Read more

Family Reunion

A full and bright moon symbolizes completion, so the Mid-Autumn Festival is a day for family or dear ones to be together. 

Traditionally on this day, families gather together to admire the bright moon and, after dinner, eat moon cakes with oolong or jasmine tea.  Read more

Longing For Home

Homesickness is another important aspect of the Mid-Autumn Festival when one is not able to be with family.  Read more

Enjoying the Bright Moon

Sitting in the yard or near a window to enjoy the glorious moon is another festival tradition.  Read more