The Mid-Autumn Festival (traditional Chinese: 中秋節; simplified Chinese: 中秋节) is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, during a full moon, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. The Government of the People's Republic of China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006, and it was made a Chinese public holiday in 2008.
Alternate names for this festival are as followed.
Moon Festival~ because of the celebration's association with the full moon on this night, as well as the traditions of moon worship and moon gazing!
Mooncake Festival~ because of the popular tradition of eating mooncakes on this occasion!
Lantern Festival~ a term sometimes used in Singapore and Malaysia, which is not to be confused with the Lantern Festival in China that occurs on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese calendar!
Reunion Festival~ because in olden times, women in China would take the occasion to visit her parents before returning to celebrate with her husband and his parents!
The festival consists of three fundamental meanings which are closely tied to one another.
Gathering, such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting crops.
Thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions.
Praying, asking for conceptual or material satisfaction, such as for babies, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future.
In the Chinese culture, making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. Another notable part of celebrating the holiday is the carrying of brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, or floating sky lanterns. One tradition involving lanterns, dēng mí (simplified Chinese: 灯谜; traditional Chinese: 燈謎), is to write riddles on lanterns and have other people try to guess the answers. An important part of the festival celebration is also moon worship!
Therefore on this （花好月圆 conjugal bliss，perfect happiness ） festival, Let us all get together to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon!
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