The Moon Festival, also called the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, is one of the major traditional holidays celebrated by Chinese people. It is always on the 15th day of the 8th month each year according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
The festival was first introduced as an official holiday at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty and became widely celebrated in the Song Dynasty. By the Qing Dynasty, it became of equal importance as the New Year’s (Yuan Dan).
According to a Chinese legend, there was a time when 10 suns hung in the sky, baking the earth dry, and depriving the people of water and life. A hero named Hou Yi climbed to the top of Kunlun Mountain and shot down 9 of the 10 suns with his bow and arrows, thus saving the people on Earth.
One day, Hou Yi encountered the Lady Queen Mother and received the elixir of immortality from her. The elixir, when taken, would allow one to become an immortal and live in the heavens. Hou Yi gave the elixir to his wife, Chang’e, for safekeeping.
A neighbor learned of the elixir of immortality and tried to forcefully take it from Chang’e while Hou Yi was away. In a moment of desperation, Chang’e swallowed the potion and immediately became a Goddess and flew into the sky. Because she still cared so much for her husband, she landed on the place closest to Earth, the moon.
When Hou Yi returned and found his wife gone, he was devastated. As he looked up to the sky to call out her name, he saw that the moon that night was especially bright and full and he caught a glimpse of Chang’e.
He immediately brought out Chang’e’s favorite cakes to pray for blessings from Heaven. Since then, it became a tradition for people to worship Heaven and celebrate with moon cakes on that day. Thus, the Moon Festival became well-known among the Chinese.
2. Eating Mooncakes — The Most Representative Tradition
3. Appreciating the Moon — a Symbol of Family Reunion
4. Guess the lantern riddle — a popular activities
5. Making Colorful Lanterns — Children’s Favorite Activity