Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节 Zhōngqiū jié
The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, is also known as Family Reunion Day. According to the Chinese lunar calendar (农历 Nónglì), the lunar 8th, 9th and 10th months make up autumn. The 8th month falls in mid-autumn, and the 15th day is in the middle of the month, hence the name "Mid-Autumn Festival". This is a time when the whole family enjoys getting together to admire the full moon 圆月 Yuán yuè, and to eat delicious moon cakes (月饼 Yuèbǐng). In 2021, the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节 Zhōngqiū jié) falls on Tuesday September 21.
The traditional Chinese moon cakes are round, symbolizing reunion, they are sometimes called "reunion Cakes". Moon cake has many varieties and production methods differ from place to place. There are sweet, salty, meat and vegetable fillings. It has various decorative patterns and words. According to traditional custom, Chinese people enjoy fruits and moon cakes while admiring the moon, since people consider the full moon as the symbol of reunion and satisfaction.
The sunny weather in autumn is fine and cool. There are few floating clouds in the sky and the moon at night seems particularly bright. This is especially true on the night of Mid-Autumn when the moon is totally full. On the special night, the whole family sit together, admiring the full moon, talking about family stories and legend, eating fruits and moon cakes filled with happiness, and wishing that the missing for the loved ones faraway, is reaching each other through the full moon. Because at that time, they are also looking up at the moon and missing their hometown and families at far.
Some ancient times, China has had many fairy tales and legends about the moon, among which the most famous is "Chang'e Flying to the Moon" 嫦娥奔月 Cháng'é bēn yuè. Chang'e was the wife of Houyi (后羿 Hòu Yì) in ancient Chinese myths. Legend has it that she swallowed an elixir (长生不老药 Chángshēng bùlǎo yào) stolen from the Grand Old Lady of the West, became an immortal and flew to the moon palace.