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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to Home Life - HolidaysHolidays Arrow to Harvest Moon Festival Mid-Autumn Moon Festival 2017

"When the moon is full, mankind is one!"

full moonIn China and throughout many Asian countries people celebrate the Harvest Moon.

In China, it's traditionally on the 15th day of the eighth month of their lunar calendar. As the date in the Western calendar changes annually, this year the Mid-Autumn festival falls on Wednesday, October 4, 2017.

In Chinese culture, people believe that on this night the moon is the roundest and brightest, signaling a time of completeness and abundance. Little surprise, then, that the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie) is a joyous day of family reunions much like a Western Thanksgiving!

Throughout the Mid-Autumn Festival, children are delighted to stay up past midnight, parading multi-colored lanterns into the wee hours as families take to the streets to moon-gaze. It is also a romantic night for lovers, who sit holding hands on hilltops, riverbanks and park benches, captivated by the brightest moon of the year.

The festival dates back to the Tang dynasty in 618 A.D., and as with many celebrations in China there are ancient legends closely associated with it.

In Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, it's sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival, (not to be confused with a similar celebration during the Chinese New Year), but whatever name it goes by, the centuries-old festival remains a beloved annual ritual celebrating an abundance of food and family.

Mid-Autumn festival foods & festivities

Traditional foods for a Chinese Mid-Autumn feast are red — for good luck. Lobster and salmon are particular favorites along with apples, pomegranates, roasted peanuts, pomelo, chestnuts, fatt koh (sponge cakes) and moon cakes (see photo, left.)

Similar harvest festivals with their own unique traditions also occur during the same time - in Korea during the three-day Chuseok festival; in Vietnam during Tet Trung Thu; and in Japan at the Tsukimi festival.

Mid-Autumn festival recipes

Durian Paste Agar-Agar Moon Cake

Chocolate Mooncake

Songp'yon (Korea)

On the Web, learn more about Mid-Autumn festival celebrations in the U.S. and around the world and discover a rich source of food and recipes of the season, festive e-mail greetings, along with the colorful folklore, stories, music, poems and legends associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival.

More about the Mid-Autumn Festival around the Web

Chinese MidAutumn Moon Festival - Well written narrative explaining related traditions and rituals in China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan.

123 Greetings Chinese Moon Festival Greeting Cards - A good collection of free e-postcards, Flash and animated holiday e-cards.

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