The moon plays a big part in this festival because the moon that night is believed to be the fullest and brightest of the year. This is why it is called the Moon Festival.
Why does a full moon matter?
In Chinese tradition, a full moon symbolizes togetherness and fullness of life. The Mid-Autumn Festival, with the fullest moon of the year, is a time for family reunions and for the blessings of life. It's also called the "Reunion Festival".
The origin of the Mid-Autumn Festival was derived from the tradition of worshipping the moon goddess and the celebration of a good autumn harvest. It dates back thousands of years.
There are some legends connected to the festival, such as the moon cake legend and the moon deity Chang-e. The modern-day festive customs, like eating moon cakes, enjoying the moon and lighting up lanterns, were gradually formed over the years.
In addition to these common traditions, various parts of China and the ethnic minorities have different Mid-Autumn Festival customs. For example:
Because the festival is a day meant for families to be together, those who are unable to get home to join the celebration miss their family more than usual on this day. There are some poems written because of this emotion. One of the most well known and well written one is Su Shi's Shui Diao Ge Tou.
"Men have sorrow and joy, they part or meet again; the moon may be bright or dim, she may wax or wane. There has been nothing perfect since the golden days"
"So let us wish that man will live long as he can; though miles apart, we'll share the beauty she (the moon) displays."
Quiz for fun: If 30 Yuan (Chinese money) can buy one high quality mooncake, how many mookcakes $50 can buy? Find answer here.
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