Mid-Autumn Festival

Yue Teng, Reporter

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Last Sunday was the Mid-Autumn Festival and I spent time with my family celebrating it.

 

Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional festival that celebrated by people from East Asia or South-East Asia. It got its name because it is on August 15th on the lunar calendar. The ways people from different countries celebrate the festival are almost the same – during that day, they go home, visit their families, have mooncakes, give thanks for the harvest, and pray. But there are still some small differences between countries. For example, in Vietnam, Mid-Autumn Festival is a festival for kids; and Chinese also have their ways to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

 

It’s believed that the Mid-Autumn Festival was first started in China during the spring and autumn of the Warring States Period, which was from 770 BC – 221 BC, according to the Rites of Zhou, the emperors started to offer sacrifices to the moon. According to the legend, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Dynasty (685 – 762) had been to the Moon Palace and met the faeries during the night, and the Mid-Autumn Festival became popular since then. And it became one of the most important festivals in Ming and Qing Dynasty.

During the old days, families got together on the day of Mid-Autumn Festival, gave thanks to their ancestors, watched the lanterns, had mooncakes, watched the moon, and played games. All of those activities have good meanings, for example, reunion. As time goes by, however, there aren’t as many rules as in the past. As the economy develops fast, people are always busy, especially people from big cities, so most of the modern people don’t have time to thank ancestors or watch lanterns. Some of them don’t even have time to visit their family members and have dinner with them!

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