What Happens in the Moon Festival?

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What Happens in the Moon Festival?

The Moon Festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival, is a traditional festival celebrated by many countries in East Asia. It is annually held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, which usually falls in September. This festival is celebrated for many reasons, but one of the most common is to celebrate the harvest, reunions, and family gatherings.

During the Moon Festival, families and friends get together to enjoy a feast and celebrate the day. There are also many traditional activities and customs that people observe during this festival. Here are some of the things that happen during the Moon Festival:


Mooncakes are the most important food during the Moon Festival. They are round or square-shaped pastries filled with sweet bean paste, lotus seed paste, or sometimes meat. They are often topped with a salted egg yolk to symbolize the full moon. Eating mooncakes is a must during the festival. People gift mooncakes to friends and family as a token of appreciation and love.


Lanterns are a significant part of the celebrations. People light and hang colorful lanterns to symbolize the festive atmosphere. These lanterns are made of paper or silk, and come in different shapes and sizes. Moreover, some people also decorate their balconies, windows, or gardens with lanterns.


Another custom during the Moon Festival is moon-watching. People go out and appreciate the bright full moon, which symbolizes the reunion of family and friends. Additionally, elders tell folk tales or poems about the moon to their children or grandchildren and share their stories during the moon-watching activity.

Dragon and Lion Dance

Dragon and lion dance performances are quite popular during the Moon Festival. These dances are performed by a group of people wearing a dragon or lion costume. The dancers move to the beat of the drums and the music, while the dragon or lion head bobs up and down, making it look like it’s alive. It is believed that these dances bring good luck and fortune.

The Moon Festival: Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions

The Moon Festival is one of the most important annual events in Chinese culture. Celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, the festival honors the full harvest moon and is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. In this blog post, we dive into the most frequently asked questions about the Moon Festival.

1. What is the Moon Festival?

The Moon Festival is a traditional Chinese festival that celebrates the full harvest moon. It is believed that on this day the moon is at its brightest and fullest, symbolizing unity and togetherness. During the festival, family members gather to admire the moon, eat mooncakes, and light lanterns.

2. When is the Moon Festival celebrated?

The Moon Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, which usually falls in September or October in the Gregorian calendar. The exact date changes every year because the Chinese lunar calendar follows a different cycle than the solar calendar. In 2021, the Moon Festival will be celebrated on September 21.

3. What are mooncakes?

Mooncakes are a traditional Chinese pastry that are eaten during the Moon Festival. They are round or square-shaped cakes with a pastry crust and a thick, sweet filling. Mooncakes are often filled with lotus seed paste, red bean paste, or egg yolk, and sometimes come with a salty egg yolk in the center to represent the full moon.

4. What is the significance of lanterns in the Moon Festival?

Lanterns are a traditional symbol of the Moon Festival. They represent the bright, full moon and are also seen as a sign of hope and good luck. During the festival, colorful lanterns are hung up outside homes and in public places. In addition, children often carry lanterns in the shape of animals or other objects during lantern parades.

5. Why is the Moon Festival important?

The Moon Festival is an important occasion for Chinese people to share time with family and friends. It is a time to give thanks for the blessings of the harvest and to celebrate unity and togetherness. In addition, the festival has profound cultural and historical significance.

6. How is the Moon Festival celebrated?

The Moon Festival is celebrated in a variety of ways, but some common traditions include:

– Eating mooncakes: Families often share mooncakes during the festival, and some people even give mooncakes as gifts to friends and business associates.
– Admiring the moon: Because the moon is at its fullest and brightest during the festival, people often gather outside to admire the moon and share stories.
– Light lanterns: Colorful lanterns are hung up outside homes and in public places. Some people also light floating lanterns and release them into the sky or water.
– Playing games: Traditional games like dice, shuttlecock, and tug-of-war are often played during the festival.
– Offering sacrifices: In some parts of China, people offer sacrifices to the moon goddess Chang’e.

7. What are some other traditions associated with the Moon Festival?

In addition to the traditions mentioned above, there are many other customs associated with the Moon Festival. For example:

– Chang’e, the moon goddess: In Chinese mythology, the Moon Festival is tied to the story of Chang’e, the wife of Hou Yi, who became the goddess of the moon after drinking a potion that granted her immortality.
– Jade rabbit: Another lunar myth involves the jade rabbit, which is said to reside on the moon and prepare the elixir of life for Chang’e.
– Pomelo fruit: Pomelo fruit is often eaten during the festival because its name in Chinese sounds similar to the word for “togetherness.”
– Osmanthus flowers: Osmanthus flowers are a type of sweet-scented flower that bloom in the fall. They are often used to flavor mooncakes and tea during the festival.

8. Can non-Chinese people celebrate the Moon Festival?

Absolutely! The Moon Festival is celebrated in many different parts of the world, and it’s a great opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and traditions. There are many ways you can celebrate the festival, such as by trying mooncakes, lighting lanterns, or simply spending time with friends and family.

9. Are there any superstitions associated with the Moon Festival?

Like many cultural festivals, there are some superstitions associated with the Moon Festival. For example, it is considered bad luck to point at the moon with your finger or to sweep the floor during the festival because it is believed that you will “sweep away” your good luck. However, these superstitions are not widely observed in modern times.

10. How can I wish someone a Happy Moon Festival?

If you want to wish someone a Happy Moon Festival, you can say “Zhongqiujie Kuaile!” (中秋节快乐), which means “Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!” in Chinese.

What Happens in the Moon Festival?

The Moon Festival is one of the most revered events in the Chinese calendar, with people coming together to celebrate the end of the harvest season and the fullness of the moon. Known also as the Mid-Autumn Festival, it is marked by the exchange of gifts, the sharing of traditional foods, and the lighting of lanterns.

The Origins of the Moon Festival

The Moon Festival has a rich history that dates back more than 3,000 years to the Shang Dynasty, when people worshipped the moon as a deity. It was believed that the moon governed the tides and the seasons, and was responsible for the growth of crops. As such, people would offer sacrifices to the moon to pray for a bountiful harvest.

Over time, the festival evolved into a more social event, with families gathering to enjoy traditional foods and mooncakes, listen to music, and enjoy the sight of the full moon. Today, it remains one of the most important events on the Chinese calendar, with celebrations taking place not just in China, but around the world.

Traditional Foods and Drinks

One of the hallmarks of the Moon Festival is the abundance of traditional foods and drinks that are consumed during the event. Among the most popular are mooncakes, a type of pastry that is traditionally filled with lotus seed paste or red bean paste, and sometimes containing eggs or other fillings.

Another important food is the pomelo, a type of citrus fruit that is often used as an offering in the festival. Other common foods include taro, water chestnuts, and peanuts. Tea is also an important part of the festival, with people sipping on a variety of different blends throughout the night.

Lanterns and Other Decorations

Another important aspect of the Moon Festival is the elaborate lanterns that are hung or carried during the celebration. These lanterns come in all shapes and sizes, with some crafted to look like animals, while others take the form of stars or other celestial bodies.

In addition to the lanterns, other decorations are also common during the festival. These might include banners and streamers in bright, festive colors, or flowers arranged in intricate patterns.

Activities and Games

The Moon Festival is also a time for fun and games, with various activities and competitions taking place throughout the night. One of the most popular is the dice game, which involves rolling several dice and trying to get certain combinations that earn points.

Another common activity is riddle guessing, where people try to solve written riddles in exchange for prizes. Children often play with spinning tops or participate in dragon and lion dances.


The Moon Festival is an important cultural event that celebrates the end of the harvest season and the fullness of the moon. Through the sharing of traditional foods, the lighting of lanterns, and the coming together of friends and family, this festival reminds us of the importance of community and the joy that can be found in tradition.

The popularity of the Moon Festival has grown in recent years, with celebrations taking place not just in China, but around the world. Whether you’re trying traditional foods for the first time, participating in games and activities, or simply enjoying the sight of the full moon, this festival is a time for celebration and reflection, and a reminder of the power of tradition to bring people together.

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What Happens in the Moon Festival?