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Mid-Autumn Festival: Traditions and Celebrations

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

The Mid-Autumn Festival is coming soon (29th of September, 2023), and it's a special time in China!

The Mid-Autumn Festival originally stemmed from ancient reverence for celestial phenomena, evolving from ancient moon-worshipping rituals. Over time, this day became all about family reunions, and these customs have carried on through the ages.

At its core, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time when families come together, and communities unite to honor the moon's beauty and radiance. It's a celebration of love, longing, and the bonds that connect us across great distances. In this blog, we delve into the rich tapestry of traditions and celebrations of Mid-Autumn Festival, that make this festival so enchanting.

A bright moon rises over the sea
Mid-Autumn Festival

You can try these traditions during the Mid-Autumn Festival:

1. Admiring the Moon:

People believe that during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the moon is closest and brightest. So, for centuries, there's been a tradition of admiring the moon. Families gather outdoors, share a meal, and enjoy the beautiful moonlight. This tradition has given rise to many famous moon-related poems, especially during the Tang Dynasty.

2. Eating Mooncakes:

Mooncakes originally served as offerings to the moon goddess in ancient times. Today, they symbolize family reunions and well-wishing. People exchange mooncakes as a way of expressing their thoughts, togetherness, hopes for a good harvest, and happiness.

3. Enjoying Osmanthus Flowers and Osmanthus Wine:

On this day, families come together to enjoy mooncakes and admire osmanthus flowers. They also savor various osmanthus-flavored treats, especially pastries and candies. It's a sweet and joyful way of celebrating family togetherness. Osmanthus wine is often part of the celebration, signifying sweet family gatherings.

4. Ancestor Worship:

On the Mid-Autumn Festival, families set up an altar to honor their ancestors. They arrange various offerings on the table, believing that their ancestors can partake in the festivities from the other world.

5. Riddle Guessing:

People place riddles inside lanterns and guess the answers. Over time, it's become a fun way for couples to interact and get to know each other better.

6. Lantern Play:

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of China's three major lantern festivals. It's a time for playing with lanterns and enjoying their glow. Many people release lanterns into rivers, making wishes as they float away with the current.

Moon Cake
Moon Cake


The Tang Dynasty poet Zhang Jiuling once wrote a poem about the Mid-Autumn Festival, with a line that goes, "A bright moon rises over the sea, reminding people of loved ones who are far apart. At this moment, we should all be admiring at the same bright moon." This poem was composed when the author was far away from home, looking at the moon and missing loved ones in a distant place. It expresses a deep yearning and sadness for family reunions during the Mid-Autumn Festival but also reflects a positive attitude. "Although we are not in the same place, we are all looking at the same moon, thinking of each other."

I hope that those who read this blog, no matter where you are, can have a sweet life, see your dreams come true, and be with the ones you love, or reunite with them soon.

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