Best time to go to China

Mid-Autumn Festival 2020

One of the most important Chinese holidays

Mid-Autumn Festival in China 2019 - Best Time
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© Edmand Cheung Photography

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as Moon Festival, is a traditional harvest celebration. Held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar with the full moon at night, it falls on late September or early October. Mooncakes, traditionally eaten during this festival, are probably the most famous part of the tradition.

Mid-Autumn Festival in China - Best Season 2019

On the festival day, families gather to offer sacrifice to the moon, appreciate the full moon, share mooncakes, and express strong tights to the family members and friends who live afar. The Chinese have celebrated this holiday since the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BCE). The ancient Chinese believed in the power of the moon and water. These beliefs lead to offerings to the moon on this evening and lunar deity, Chang'e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality.

Best time for Mid-Autumn Festival in China 2019

The festival is a time to watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and peace. Performance of dragon and lion dances usually occur on this day in southern China and Vietnam. Lanterns are common in Hong Kong and other places. Carrying brightly lit lanterns and writing riddles on them is another popular tradition.

Incense Dragon, Mid-autumn festival in Hong Kong 2019
Incense Dragon, Mid-autumn festival in Hong Kong

Cassia wine is the traditional drink during Mid-Autumn Festival. In southern China, people eat some seasonal fruit. The Mid-Autumn moon has also traditionally been an occasion to honor marriages and find partners. In some parts of China, that happens during dances. Children and grown-ups also play many traditional games and participate in competitions.