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.
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.
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.
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.
Celebrations take place throughout the country but the most spectacular you will witness in Beihai Park in Beijing, Erhai Lake in Dali, West Lake in Hangzhou, Elephant Trunk Hill in Guilin, Victoria Park in Hong Kong, and The Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Shanghai.