Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important festival after Chinese New Year. To the Chinese, the festival means family reunion and harmony. It is celebrated when the moon is full, and Chinese people believe a full moon is a symbol of reunion, harmony, and happiness. Also called the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, it is celebrated when the moon is believed to be the biggest and fullest, and mooncake is the main most characteristic festival food.
Mid-Autumn was first celebrated as a national festival during the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127). However, the festival has a history of over 3,000 years. It was derived from the custom of moon worship during the Shang Dynasty (c.1600–1046 BC). People have long believed that worshiping the moon and eating together around a round table would bring them good luck and happiness.
Contrary to popular belief, the Mid-Autumn Festival does not always occur on the night of the full moon. The Chinese lunar calendar does not coincide perfectly with the cycles of the moon. However, the 15th day of the 8th lunar month is always within two days of the harvest moon night.
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