September 15-17, 2016.
Also celebrated in Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia, this is one of the most important festivals of the year in China. The tradition originates in the agricultural society when thanks was given to the moon at its fullest during the harvest season, in gratitude for a good crop.
Today it is celebrated by gathering the family together and sharing round moon cakes. Roundness symbolizes completeness and thus emphasizes the family unity. (Picture by Atlaslin.) It is a time to give thanks, say prayers, make offerings on an alter, then enjoy each other's company while sipping cassia wine and waiting for the moon to rise. It is also a time to wish all a Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
In many places, children parade with lanterns and in others dragon and lion dances are performed. Magnificent, cleverly lighted paper sculptures are floated on bodies of water.
There is also a romantic side to the festival. According to the mythology, Chang'e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality, swallowed her beloved husband's elixir and flew to the moon in order to protect it from being stolen. For this reason, the Moon Deity is worshiped by women. Taking inspiration from its romantic legend, it is a perfect time for lovers to slip off and enjoy the beautiful autumn moon. (Picture by Ren Shuai Ying)
Sunday September 18th is an official working day for Government and state owned companies. Most people, however, will take off Wednesday through Monday.
Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival!
????? Zh?ngqi? jié kuàilè
By the way, you can get free Moon Festival e-cards here.