Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival, celebrated in most East Asian countries, such as China and Vietnam. The festival takes places on month 8 day 15 of the Chinese calendar. In 2017 it's on October 4th. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest.
Mid-Autumn Festival is an inherited custom of moon sacrificial ceremonies. The ancient Chinese observed that the movement of the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production. Hence, to express their thanks to the moon and celebrate the harvest, they offered a sacrifice to the moon on autumn days.
Romantically speaking, the festival is to commemorate Chang'e, who in order to protect her beloved husband’s elixir, ate it herself and flew to the moon.
As with every Chinese festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival has its own special food – moon cake. Mooncakes are the must-eat Mid-Autumn food in China. They are a kind of traditional Chinese pastry. It is a kind of cookie with various fillings and different artistic patterns on the surface depicting the legends of the festival. Generally, it is round, as the Mid- Autumn Festival is a time for family reunion, and “round” has a similar pronunciation with "reunion" in Chinese.
Other foods eaten during the festival are harvest foods, such as crabs, pumpkins, pomeloes, and grapes. People enjoy them at their freshest and most nutritious.
On the festival day, family members gather to offer sacrifice to the moon, appreciate the bright full moon, eat moon cakes, and express strong yearnings toward family members and friends who live afar. In addition, there are some other customs like playing lanterns, and dragon and lion dances in some regions.
The best time to watch the moon is 20:00 to 21:00 at Mid-Autumn Festival. The darkness falls as if the ink velvet covers the horizon, with the countless stars glowing and flashing that have become glamorous pattern. The night, though there are street lights on, is still dark. And the scene we see around us is not clear.
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