The ‘Mid Autumn Festival’ (the official name in pinyin is Zhōngqiū Jié), also called ‘Moon Festival’, is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar.
People at the festival celebrate the gathering of family and friends coming together to give thanks for the harvest or for harmonious unions and praying for longevity and good future. An important part of the festival celebration is also moon gazing and worshipping Chang’e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality, by displaying food, cakes and tea in teacups on a platter in the moonlight. Other drinks and food for displaying are wine, candy and fruits. Fruits are round shaped, like apples, pears, oranges, peaches, pomegranates, grapes, melons and pomelos.
Nowadays traditions and myths surrounding the festival have changed over time due to modern technology and science, economical, cultural and religious situations.
Sharing, eating and giving mooncakes to family members and friends is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. In Chinese culture, a round shape symbolizes completeness and unity. Sharing round mooncakes among family members and friends signify the completeness and unity of families and relationships among friends.
During the celebration it is also tradition to sip wine and to improvise poetry and songs.