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Culture note: Mid Autumn Day

Just like I said yesterday there are so many celebrations going on at the moment, here you go, another one – tomorrow, well, in China, it is ‘tomorrow’ already – 12th September is Chinese Mid Autumn Day.

Mid Autumn Day is one of the biggest, and most important festivals in China. Although it is called ‘Mid Autumn Day’, it is always on the 15th August of the Chinese calendar. So it is same as other Chinese festivals, the actual date on Western calendar changes every year, and this year is the 12th September.

It is said that the moon gets fullest, roundest and brightest on this day in the year. It is also one of the most emotional times of the year, because in Chinese, the full moon symbolizes the family members all gather together, people at home would look up at the moon, missing the loved ones who are far away, and for those who are not at home with family, wherever you are, just look at the bright moon, let the moon  pass on your nostalgia and love to your family, because they are looking up to the moon at the same time.

So the name ‘Mid Autumn Day’ is not too much to do with the season. :)

The celebrations normally start in the evening when the moon is out, although nowadays, there are many programs on TV or on the streets for the whole country celebrate together, traditionally, every family would have a cozy dinner together in the moonlight, appreciate the beautiful scene in the sky, and wish all the loved ones a blissful life.

In Chinese literature, there are many stories of how the poets celebrated this day by writing poems. Many of the poems became meaningful symbols for this day. For example, Su shi’s ‘wish each other a long life so as to share the beauty of this graceful moonlight, even though miles apart.’

Saying all these, it is really the difficult moment for us who are abroad – so far away from home where the parents are. The moon becomes something I try not to look up, homesick gets worse and worse…


Wish everyone, who live under the same moonlight, a happy Mid Autumn Day! If you can, go home with your parents and loved ones for a family dinner, make the moon even fuller! :)

(Of course, there are particular food for this day – moon cake. The legend and the recipe of the moon cake will be here tomorrow. )

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