Mid-Autumn Festival, Zhongqiu Jie (中秋节) in Chinese, is also called the Moon Festival or the
Mooncake Festival. It is the second most important festival in China after Chinese New Year.
It is also celebrated by many other Asian countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
In China, it's a reunion time for families, a little like Thanksgiving. Chinese people celebrate it by
gathering for dinners, worshiping the moon, lighting paper lanterns, eating mooncakes, etc.
Mid-Autumn Festival 2022 Date
Mid-Autumn Festival traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar,
which is in September or early October on the Gregorian calendar. As, traditionally, the four seasons each
have three lunar months, day 15 of month 8 is "the middle of autumn", hence the festival’s lunar date.
In 2022, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 10th (Saturday). Chinese people have a 3-day
public holiday from September 10th to 12th.
Why Mid-Autumn Festival is Celebrated ?
Mid-Autumn Festival has a history of over 3,000 years. It was derived from the custom of worshiping the
moon in autumn to thank it for the harvest.
In the process of cultural/historical developments, Mid-Autumn Festival has been infused with more meanings,
including families gathering together and praying for good health and happiness.
In modern times, people mainly celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival as a time for family reunions. It is said the moon
on this day is the brightest and roundest, which has come to mean family reunion. Because of the central theme
of family reunion, sometimes the festival evokes comparison to Thanksgiving in the U.S.
How People Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival
As the second most important festival in China, Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in many traditional
ways. Here are some of the most popular traditional celebrations.
1. Enjoying a Dinner with Family
The roundness of the moon represents the reunion of the family in Chinese minds. Families will
have dinner together on the evening of Mid-Autumn Festival.
2. Eating Mooncakes
Mooncakes are the most representative food for Mid-Autumn Festival. Their round shape and sweet
flavor symbolize completeness and sweetness. At the Mid-Autumn Festival people eat mooncakes
together with family, or present mooncakes to relatives or friends, to express their love and best wishes.
3. Appreciating the Moon
The full moon is the symbol of family reunions in Chinese culture. It is said, sentimentally, that
“the moon on the night of Mid-Autumn Festival is the brightest and the most beautiful”. Chinese
people usually set a table outside their houses and sit together to admire the full moon while
enjoying tasty mooncakes.
4. Worshiping the Moon
According to the legend of Mid-Autumn Festival, a fairy maiden named Chang’e lives on the moon
with a cute rabbit. On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, people set a table under the moon with
mooncakes, snacks, fruits, and a pair of candles lit on it. Some believe that by worshiping the moon,
Chang’e (the moon goddess) may fulfill their wishes.
5. Making and Carrying Mid-Autumn Festival Lanterns
Lanterns are a notable part of Mid-Autumn Festival. People make lanterns, carry lanterns to do
moon gazing, hang lanterns in trees or houses, release sky lanterns, or visit public lantern displays,
hence it is even be known as a lantern festival (not to be confused with the Lantern Festival on the
full moon after Chinese New Year).
Mid-Autumn lanterns have many shapes and can resemble animals, plants, or flowers. A tradition
is to write riddles on lanterns so that people can enjoy solving them with friends or family.
Mid-Autumn Festival in other Asian Nations
In many Asian communities besides China, Mid-Autumn Festival is widely celebrated. Many
interesting activities with unique local features are held.
In Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines — three countries with many ethnic Chinese citizens
— the celebrations are more Chinese, such as lighting lanterns and dragon dances. The date is
also the same as in China, but there is no public holiday.
Mid-Autumn Festival Greetings: Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
Mid-Autumn Festival is a time of good will. Many Chinese people send Mid-Autumn Festival cards
or short messages during the festival to express their best wishes to family and friends.
The most popular greeting is “Happy Mid-Autumn Festival”, in Chinese 中秋节快乐 — ‘Zhongqiu Jie kuaile!’.
Other popular sayings are usually related to the moon or reunion. For example:
‘Wishing us a long life to share the graceful moonlight, though hundreds of miles apart.’
‘Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! May the round moon bring you a happy family and a successful future.’
The above is our introduction to the Mid-Autumn Festival. If you want to know about other traditional
Chinese festivals, please leave a message.