The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节) in China is basically a harvest festival, celebrated during the eighth lunar month's full moon period. In 2016, this falls on 15th September. Public holiday is from 15th to 17th and also our Kunming office will be closed during this period. About two to three weeks prior to the holiday, people start making and sharing so called moon cakes, little round pies symbolizing completeness as the full moon does.
But what is actually celebrated during Mid-Autumn Festival? First of all, during this holiday, many families and friends get together and enjoy the reunion. In ancient times, this was basically due to the man power needed for the harvest. But also still today, people gather for the harvest and are thankful for the crops received. Furthermore, worshiping the moon was an important part of the mid-autumn celebrateion.
There are quite a few stories and legends about the Mid-Autumn Festival as well as its creation and traditions. For example:
Early in the spring and autumn period, the emperors already started sacrificing to the moon and worshiping it, which can also be read in the book the Book of Rites. Landlords and officials took the example, and continued the event, which little by little spreaded to the civilians. Thus, comes the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Autumn is the season of harvesting. Autumn in Chinese is qiu (秋) meaning grain ripeness. In ancient times, peasants chooe the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar (month of mid-autumn) to express their gratitude of great harvest on farming.
During the Tang Dynasty, on the 15th day of the eight month of the lunar calendar, Fei Ji, a Tang high official was inspired by the full moon and created the mooncake, which successfully solved the problem of shortage in military expenditure after they conquered the Sui Dynasty.
The Wonders Of Yunnan Travel Team wishes you a great holiday, either with our without moon cakes or harvest.