Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival in celebration of the fall season. It originated in China and is now celebrated in many places in East Asia and in many Asian communities around the world. The festival typically coincides with a full moon around the time of the autumnal equinox. It is also called the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival. Traditional celebrations of the Mid-Autumn Festival usually involve making and eating round pastries known in English as mooncakes, which are traditionally filled with red bean and lotus seed paste (and sometimes egg yolks in the center, representing the moon). Another tradition involves floating lanterns with wishes written to the moon goddess Chang’e (see the next section for more about her story and how it relates to the festival). The Mid-Autumn Festival is among the most important and popular holidays in Chinese culture, along with the Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year). Similar holidays are celebrated in other Asian countries. A related festival in Japan is called Tsukimi, and a related one in Korea is called Chuseok. When is the Mid-Autumn Festival?Celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival usually lasts at least a few days, but the official date is the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is a lunar calendar, the corresponding date changes from year to year. In 2022, the Mid-Autumn Festival will fall on September 10. In 2023, it will fall on September 29.

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