The Mooncake Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is one of China’s most important holidays. The festival is held on the Chinese Calendar’s 15th day of the 8th month. For 2022, the holiday will occur on September 10.
People believe that the origin of the Mooncake Festival is involved with the legend of Chang’e, the goddess of the moon. Folklore says that Chang’e and her husband, Hou Yi, lived when there were ten suns. Hou Yi shot down nine suns to save the people from the heat and was given a reward for his heroic deed. He was given an immortality elixir, which was only enough for one person. Chang’e and Hou Yi did not want to leave each other and kept the elixir. One day, one of Hou Yi’s students tried to steal the elixir, and Chang’e was forced to take the elixir and become immortal. Sadly, Chang’e became the moon goddess and left Hou Yi. In memory of his wife, Hou Yi made offerings to her, which became a tradition throughout generations. This tradition is now called the Mooncake Festival.
The most significant tradition during the Mooncake Festival is people worshipping the moon and thanking it for its good harvest. Families set up tables under the moon with offerings for the goddess, Chang’e.
Another important tradition during the holiday is spending time with family. The Mid-Autumn Festival is similar to Thanksgiving since they use the festival as a chance to reunite with family.
Other activities during the Mooncake Festival include flying lanterns and eating mooncakes. Eating mooncakes is a must-have during the celebration, hence the name, Mooncake Festival. Lanterns are usually released into the sky or hung on trees and houses. Lanterns are considered a symbol of luck and family bonding.