Autumn Festival (中秋节 ) (zhōng qiū jié ) or Moon Festival is coming.
In case some of you don’t know, Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on August 15 Chinese year, however the date varies on western year.
This year, 2016, we will celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 15.
There are various stories about the origin of this festival.
Some people believe this holiday was related with a warrior named 后羿 ( hòu yì ) and his wife 嫦娥 ( cháng é ).
In this book (with Amazon affiliate link) Celebrating The Mid-Autumn Festival, you will get more details of this story.
There is another fair tale. It was said that there was a man named 吴刚 ( wú gāng ) living on the moon. He was busy chopping a tree that was impossible to be cut down.
When I was little, every year on the Mid-Autumn Festival, I always opened my eyes wild to observe the moon. Surprisingly, it seemed there was really a tree and a man there.
Now I know, it might just be the shadow of mountains on the moon. However, this fairy tale brought me a lot of sweet moments in my childhood.
To kids, the best part of celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival is eating moon cakes (Amazon affiliate link) .
Why people eat moon cake?
It was said, at the end of Yuan Dynasty, some Chinese rebels wrote a detailed rebellion message on the paper and hid these messages in round cookies to avoid the current government’s investigation.
The fight planned on August 15 was a big victory. From then, eating moon cakes on August 15 became a popular custom.
During different eras, Chinese people have different ways to celebrate this holiday.
Usually, on this holiday, family were supposed to sit together to worship the big round bright moon, have a nice family reunion dinner and eat delicious moon cakes to enjoy the family time.
Since Mid-Autumn Festival is a holiday to celebrate the family reunion, moon becomes an important symbol representing this holiday and conveys special meaning in Chinese culture.
No wonder many Chinese poets and song writers created a lot of beautiful poems and songs with the moon as a subject.
I also recommend a classic Chinese music piece 春江花月夜 ( chūn jiāng huā yuè yè ) (Spring Moonlight on the Flowers by the River ) for this special holiday.
To celebrate this holiday, I am going to buy some favorite moon cakes, read books and teach my kids some Chinese characters about Mid-Autumn Festival.
If you need, you can download or print this Chinese Characters List for Mid Autumn Festival sheet for your personal use.
I wish you and your family: Happy Mid-Autumn Festival ( 中秋节快乐 ) ( zhōng qiū jié kuài lè ) !