• Name in Chinese: 中秋节 Zhōngqiūjié /jong-chyoh-jyeah/ 'middle autumn festival'
• Also called: Mooncake Festival, Moon Festival
• Public holiday: September 19–21 (Sunday–Tuesday), 2021
• Why it's celebrated: to worship the moon and celebrate the harvest
• Must-eat food: mooncake, and drinking tea
• Celebrations: family gatherings, admiring the full moon, eating mooncakes, lantern lighting, etc.
• Greetings: The simplest is "Happy Mid-Autumn Festival" (中秋快乐 'Mid-Autumn happy').
Mid-Autumn Festival (Mooncake Festival), or Mid-autumn Day, is the second grandest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. It is named so for that it is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, which is always in the middle of the autumn season in China.
Chinese Moon Festival
The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is believed to be at its fullest and brightest and Chinese always worship the moon and appreciate the full moon on that day.
Time for Family Reunion
In Chinese culture, full moon symbolizes reunion, so that they reunite with their families for celebrations. They worship the moon together, appreciate the moon together, enjoy reunion dinner and even share one mooncake to celebrate the reunion.
How do Chinese celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival? – Top Activities & Traditions Eat Moon Cakes
This is the most popular Mid-Autumn Festival activity. Mooncakes are cookies with various fillings like nuts, read bean paste, lotus root paste, egg yolk, meat, and fruit, etc. They are usually round to symbolize the full moon and family reunion.
Appreciate the Full Moon
In traditional Chinese culture, the moon on the festival night is believed to be the fullest and brightest of the whole year, symbolizing family reunion. Even a family member is not home, he or she is appreciating the same moon with other families, seeming like they are together.
Worship the Moon
This tradition has been 3,000 years old. On the night, people set a table with mooncakes and other sacrifices towards the moon, make wishes, offer incense and kowtow to the moon. Afterwards, the families will share the sacrifices.
Enjoy family reunion dinner
During the festival, all families try their best to go home and enjoy a big feast. In addition to mooncakes, other popular dishes for the reunion dinner include osmanthus cake, osmanthus wine, crab, duck, taro, and pumpkin.
Make and Hang Festival Lanterns
This is an activity popular in Guangdong and Hong Kong areas, favored especially by kids. In other places of China, people also set Kongming lanterns to make best wishes.
Other traditions to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival include fire dragon dance popular in Hong Kong, playing Lord Rabbit in Beijing, and watching Qiantang River Tide in Hangzhou, etc.