Mid-Autumn Festival is a festival held in between September and October by Chinese people around the world. The other names for the festival are Zhong Qiu Jie and Moon Festival because the festival takes place when the full moon shines brightly. Many tales underlie the festival including the one about a young woman and a jade rabbit lived in the moon and about ten suns taking turn to brighten the earth. Due to the romantic climate caused by the full moon, many people think that the Mid-Autumn festival is a great moment for couples to spend the romantic night together. The next Mid-Autumn festival, Mid-Autumn Festival 2013 will fall on September 19, 2013.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Legend of Mid-Autumn Festival

As mentioned above, many legends are claimed to cause the beginning of Mid-Autumn festival. One of them narrates that a beautiful young woman named Chang’e and her husband Houyi were drove out from the heaven to the earth. However, Houyi, as a great archer, saved the earth by shooting nine of ten suns shining together so that the Emperor of China rewarded him a pill of immortal – anyone swallowed the pill would gain an immortal life. Houyi hid the pill, but her wife – Chang’e – found the pill and swallowed it. Because she scared of his husband, Chang’e flied until she reached the moon and found the hare in the moon. Chang’e stayed in the moon while her husband built a castle in the sun. The legend tells that once a year, Houyi visit Chang’e to the moon so that the moon shined very bright on that night. The night when Houyi visit Chang’e is celebrated as the Mid-Autumn festival or the Chinese Moon Festival.

Chang'e in the legend of Mid-Autumn festival

Food and Tradition

The special food made for the Mid-Autumn festival is the moon cake – a round Chinese bakery filled with lotus seed paste or sweet red beans paste. It becomes the tradition of Chinese people to eat moon cake while sighting the shiny full moon outside. From time to time, the shapes and fillings of moon cakes develop so that the shape is not only round but also square, triangle, and also flowery-shape, while the fillings vary from green tea, chocolate, peanut, and even ice cream.

Moon cake