why do people celebrate the moon festival

China s Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on month 8 day 15 of China s lunar calendar (in September or October). Mid-Autumn Festival 2016 is on September 15. To many Chinese, it is still the second most important festival after Chinese New Year. What is Mid-Autumn Festival? To the Chinese, Mid-Autumn Festival means family reunion and peace. The festival is celebrated when the moon is believed to be the biggest and fullest. To the Chinese, a full moon is a symbol of prosperity, happiness, and family reunion.

Read more on. Many traditional and meaningful celebrations are held in most households in China, and China s neighboring countries. The main traditions and celebrations include eating mooncakes, having dinner with family, gazing at and worshipping the moon, and lighting lanterns
Mid-Autumn Festival has a history of over 3,000 years, dating back to moon worship in the Shang Dynasty (1600 1046 BC).

It s such an important festival that many poems were written about it, stories and legends about the festival are widespread, and its origins have been guessed at and explained by generations of Chinese. In many of China s neighboring nations Mid-Autumn is widely celebrated. Many interesting activities with unique local features are held. , also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival or the Lantern Festival, takes place each year on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month.

This is the date of the Autumn Equinox, when the moon is at its farthest point from the earth and hence appears bright and completely round. Traditionally the Moon Festival marks the end of the summer harvest. To the farmers of China, the festival is a celebration of thankfulness for heaven's bounty. It has been celebrated by the Chinese people since at least the first century. Various legends are associated with moon viewing.

One of the most popular concerns Chang-0, the wife of Hou-I, the Divine Archer. The legend tells of Hou-I who, having shot down nine out of ten suns that were causing havoc on earth, was rewarded by the goddess Xiwangmu with the herb of immortality. However, the beautiful and vain Chang-0 Found and ate the herb herself. Realizing that her husband would be angry, she fled to the moon where she coughed up the herb that turned into the Jade Rabbit, another mythical figure associated with immortality.

Today, children look for Chang-O and the Jade Rabbit in the shadows visible on the moon's surface. On the night of the Festival they carry paper lanterns in the shape of rabbits, phoenixes, fish and other auspicious animals. The Moon Festival is a time of gathering for family and friends, and moon cakes filled with ground lotus and sesame seeds are given as gifts.