Originally named the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese. It takes place on the 15th moon day of 8th Chinese lunar month (Chicken month).
Please note the date of this festival changes each year.
2013 - 19 September
2014 - 8 September
2015 - 2 September
In Chinese culture, the full moon is a symbol of peace and prosperity for the whole family. Its roundness symbolizes wholeness and togetherness. The Moon Festival is a time for family reunion.
The traditional food for the moon Festival is the moon cake which is round and symbolises reunion.
Many years ago, there were ten suns in the sky. The 10 suns that took turns circling the earth-one every 10 days. One day, all 10 of the orbs circled, together, causing the earth’s surface to burn. Crops could not grow and rivers ran dry, so the people were dying of hunger and thirst. Hou Yi, a famous archer, took his bow and arrows and shot down nine of the ten suns, saving the people.
As a reward, the Western Queen Mother gave Hou Yi a potion. If Hou Yi shares that potion with his wife, they will both live forever, but if only one of them takes the potion, he or she will become a god.
Hou Yi and Chang’e plan to take the potion together. But one of Hou Yi’s enemies, Feng Meng, hears about the potion and plans to steal it. One night, on a full moon, Feng Meng kills Hou Yi, then forces Chang’e to give him the potion.
Rather than give the evil man the potion, Chang’e drinks it all herself. She starts to rise into heaven, but she feels a close connection to the world of the mortals, and wants to stay close to them, so she stops at the moon, the closest body to earth.
It is said that during the Moon Festival, Chang’e can be seen dancing on the moon.