Every autumn, Chinese people celebrate a very special day, Mid-Autumn Festival. It is always the 15th day of August according to Chinese calendar. Usually it falls in September or October. In 2017, it is going to be Oct 04.

On every 15th of each month based on the Chinese calendar, the moon is round. On Mid-Autumn festival night, the moon is believed to be the brightest and fullest.

What Are the Celebration Activities

1. Family Reunion Dinner

On this special day, families get together to enjoy a nice dinner. Many times the dinner is served in the yard or on the terrace so that everybody can admire the moon while eating.

The food vary from region to region, mostly the season food and fruit such as crabs, pumpkins, grapes, pomelos and so on. The must-have food for all the Chinese is 月饼 (Yuèbǐng) moon cake.

moon cake

2. Worshiping the Moon

This tradition is disappearing. In the places (countryside especially) people still follow the tradition, they normally set up a small table in the open area where the moon can shed light on. There are plenty of food on the table together with some candlesticks facing the moon. People will hold a ceremony to worship the moon.

3. Making Lanterns

This is the most exciting part for children. They make colorful lanterns in different shapes. The lanterns are put on the trees in the garden, or in the river to float away. An interesting lantern is Kongming Lantern which can fly in the air when the candle inside heats up the air and lift it up. This is really a nice scene at night in many places. People can also put their wishes on the lantern and let them fly high.

If you want to make your own lanterns or have fun with Kongming Lanterns, here are some examples you can get from Amazon. If you want to light the Kongming Lanterns, remember to go to an open area (e.g. beach, lake…).

Decorative Lanterns (amazon aff link)

Water Floating Wish Lanterns (amazon aff link)

Kongming Lanterns (amazon aff link)

What Books We Can Read to Our Children Before or At the Festival

There are many books available to introduce this festival. Below are a list of books you may find useful.

Round Mooncake (amazon aff link)

Mooncakes and Hungary Ghosts (amazon aff link)

The Moon Lady (amazon aff link)

Thanking the Moon (amazon aff link)

Good Night Moon (amazon aff link)

I took the moon for a walk (amazon aff link)

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